Optimization of cleaning and disinfection protocols in animal farming

    Project Details


    Main research question/goal
    The main purpose of this project is to set up and test optimized and alternative protocols for cleaning and disinfection (C&D) in hen houses, pig barns and dairy barns. Furthermore, an optimized measurement tool is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of these protocols. Cleaning and disinfection (C&D) of the stables is associated with a good hygiene management on the farm. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria in stables, which leads to a reduction of the amount of animal diseases and zoonoses. In concrete terms, we strive to reduce Salmonella problems in poultry and pig production, prevent MRSA in pigs, and STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) and Coxiella burnetii in ruminants (dairy cattle).

    Research approach
    We test and compare C&D protocols in practice: conventional protocols, optimal conventional protocols and alternative protocols in field settings and in model barns. In this way, we gain insight into the efficiency and applicability of the different techniques, products and procedures for the poultry, pig and cattle sector. The effectiveness of the tested protocols is evaluated through visual inspection, ATP hygiene monitoring and microbiological analysis (total flora, indicator organisms and target zoonoses). These field experiments, combined with tests using barn prototypes, enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of optimal conventional C&D protocols and alternative methods. An optimized and practical tool to evaluate the effectiveness of the different C&D protocols is developed based on the analytical test results from the field experiments. We also perform a cost-benefit analysis that accounts for direct impact and long-term effects.

    We expect further reduction in the amount of zoonoses, infected farms and a general improvement in animal health because of the lower infection pressure. We want to know the reasons why the currently performed C&D protocols fail and which are the critical, (and therefore to be monitored) infection points in stables. The goal here is to lower the chance of infection. The practical value is the optimized C&D protocol and the alternative C&D protocol. The current official hygiene and zoonosis monitoring can also be optimized based on this study. That can be achieved by using a suitable indicator(bacterium) and/or a better sampling choice (among others, for the target zoonosis) and/or an adapted sampling frequency that is directed at the evaluation of the applied C&D protocol. Guidelines for optimal C&D will be assembled in a practical manual for use in the primary production based on the research results from this study. The results can also be used in further development of known and prospective control programs. Through company visits and other communication channels, knowledge is exchanged with the primary production sector.

    External partner(s)
    PDLT - Provinciale Dienst voor Land- en Tuinbouw
    Ugent - Fac. Diergeneeskunde
    Effective start/end date1/09/1231/08/15

    Data Management Plan flag for FRIS

    • DMP not present


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