Airborne transmission of pathogens and the relation to dust in livestock production

Airborne transmission of pathogen is suspected as one of the mechanisms for disease spreading between livestock farms. In a whole process of airborne transmission, the pathogens are firstly shed to the air through respiratory tracts of animals or animal feces.

Then, the pathogens may stay either stay in the air as a single particle, but in most cases, attach to dust. They are transported in the air stream to the healthy animals or farms. The distance, that the pathogens can be transported, depends on the size of dust particles they combined and their ability of survival in the dust. Eventually, the pathogens are inhaled by the healthy animals and cause infection. So far, knowledge is lack in several aspects, including sampling techniques of airborne pathogens, their viability, sources, concentrations, emissions, dispersions and emission control techniques.

The objective of this research tries to answer the following questions:

1. How effective of different samplers on collecting airborne pathogens and dust?

2. How do the airborne pathogens survive under different climate conditions (temperature and humidity) in droplets and dust particles?

3. Where do the airborne pathogens come from (exhalation or excretion)?

4. What is the concentration and emission of airborne pathogens?

5. What is the size distribution of airborne pathogens?

6. How effective of multi-stage air scrubbers on reducing airborne pathogens and dust from livestock houses?