Airborne pathogens from dairy manure aerial irrigation and the human health risk

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
By:  and 



Dairy manure, like the fecal excrement from any domesticated or wild animal, can contain pathogens capable of infecting humans and causing illness or even death. Pathogens in dairy manure can be broadly divided into categories of taxonomy or infectiousness. Dividing by taxonomy there are three pathogen groups in dairy manure: viruses (e.g., bovine rotavirus), bacteria (e.g., Salmonella species), and protozoa (e.g., Cryptosporidium parvum). There are two categories of infectiousness for pathogens found in animals: those that are zoonotic and those that are not. A zoonotic pathogen is one that can infect both human and animal hosts. Some zoonotic pathogens found in dairy manure cause illness in both hosts (e.g., Salmonella) while other zoonotic pathogens, like Escherichia coli O157:H7, (enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC)) cause illness only in humans. As a general rule, the gastrointestinal viruses found in dairy manure are not zoonotic. While there are exceptions (e.g., rare reports of bovine rotavirus infecting children), for the most part the viruses in dairy manure are not a human health concern. The primary concerns are the zoonotic bacteria and protozoa in dairy manure.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Organization Series
Title Airborne pathogens from dairy manure aerial irrigation and the human health risk
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher Wisconsin Manure Irrigation Workgroup
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description C-1-C-24
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Title Considerations for the use of manure irrigation practices
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