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April 29, 2020
The transmission of airborne diseases in livestock pose risks to the health and safety of animals as well as the people working in livestock facilities, with potential significant economic losses.
Recently, researchers with the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine and College of Science & Engineering have published a research study in the journal Plasma Processes & Polymers demonstrating that cold plasma technology might be able to control the spread of respiratory viruses in the air, such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV).
The researchers, including Gaurav Nayak, Austin J. Andrews, Ian Marabella, Hamada A. Aboubakr, Sagar M. Goyal, Bernard A. Olson, Montserrat Torremorell and Peter J. Bruggeman, applied cold atmospheric pressure air plasma technology to a model air filtration system. They used a dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) for inflight inactivation of airborne aerosolized PRRSV.
According to the study abstract, the infectivity of the sampled virus downstream compared to upstream of the DBD reactor showed a 3.5 log10 reduction in PRRSV titer.
Independent testing of the viral genome by the reverse-transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction method confirmed the inactivation with minimal filtering effects, Nayak et al. reported.
This approach rapidly disinfected the air by “deactivating” PRRSV as it passed through the duct of a ventilation system, according to the university. The team found that applying cold plasma to aerosolized PRRSV reduced the concentration of the virus below the detection limit after a few milliseconds of contact with the plasma.
The research team has been studying the process for a few years, as highlighted in National Hog Farmer, a sister publication of Feedstuffs.
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