Wean to Harvest Biosecurity Program Research

Ensuring Site and Transportation Biosecurity Using Bioluminescence

Principal Investigator: Dustin Boler, Bailey Harsh | Institution: Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions, University of Illinois

This research evaluated the performance of two adenosine triphosphate (ATP) instruments to assess the cleanliness status in livestock trailers and the level of contamination after washing.  Visual inspection to determine if a trailer is clean usually occurs after the invested cost of propane to dry the truck has occurred.  At the same time, studies have demonstrated that visual inspection of cleaned transport trailers may be insufficient to ensure cleanliness and reduce disease transmission risk. The goals of this project were to determine the areas of the trailer with the greatest surface contamination, the correlation between microbial counts and relative light units, and the number of locations that need to accurately determine surface cleanliness. The results from this study indicated that the areas of highest concern sampled in this study were the nose access door and the back door flush gate as detected both by ATP bioluminescence and APC. Performance was dependent on the instrument used, with the 3M machine being more closely correlated with plate counts. These data suggest that ATP bioluminometers may be a reliable method to monitor cleaning in areas of high concern but should be used in conjunction with microbial methods to monitor procedures for cleaning and disinfection.