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From: TSS ()
Subject: Evaluation of BSE Infection Risk of Cattle via Sewage Sludge from Wastewater Treatment Slaughterhouses Japan
Date: March 7, 2006 at 8:44 am PST

Evaluation of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Infection Risk of Cattle via Sewage Sludge from Wastewater Treatment Facilities in Slaughterhouses in Japan

Takehisa YAMAMOTO1), Sota KOBAYASHI1), Akiko NISHIGUCHI1), Takashi NONAKA1) and Toshiyuki TSUTSUI1)

1) Applied Epidemiology Section, National Institute of Animal Health

(Received 21-Jul-2005)
(Accepted 24-Oct-2005)

ABSTRACT. Scattered SRM residues from BSE-infected cattle are possible to contaminate sewage during the slaughtering process in slaughterhouses. A proportion of the sludge discharged from wastewater treatment facilities at slaughterhouses has historically been processed into fertilizer. We therefore investigated the associated risk of BSE infection to cattle via sludge-derived fertilizer. Each stage of the process associated with BSE exposure was qualitatively evaluated and quantitative evaluations were subsequently performed using infectious dose as a unit of concern. Results of these qualitative evaluations indicated that installation of filter(s) at the drains to the wastewater treatment facilities has been undertaken by many slaughterhouses and has decreased the likelihood of SRM contamination of sewage. The level of sludge-derived fertilizer ingested by cattle was considered to be very low since the fertilizer is mixed with the ground soil, and the amount of soil ingested by cattle is likely to be small. Results from the quantitative analysis indicated the total infectious dose ingested by cattle in Japan from an infected cow has been estimated to be 5.5 ◊ 10-3 ID50. Preventing scattering of SRM during the slaughtering process, installing filters to the drains with the removal of residues from the drain water and preventing the application of sludge-derived fertilizer to pasturelands would be effective to reduce the risk. Although the limited extent of available information, this study should provide useful indication for the development of an inclusive risk assessment for slaughterhouse sludge in the future.

KEY WORDS: abattoir, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), fertilizer, risk assessment, sewage sludge


IN the event that a large SRM tissue sample with a high infectivity was not diluted during the process and then subsequently ingested by cattle, it is possible that these cattle would become infected with BSE. ...

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