Survival of parasite eggs upon storage in sludge
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Destruction rates of parasite eggs in stored sludge were examined to help understand the fate of these agents of enteric diseases in sludge lagoons. Eggs from the roundworms, Ascaris spp., Toxocara spp., Trichuris spp., and the tapeworm, Hymenolepis spp., were treated with domestic sludges by aerobic or anaerobic processes. Sludge samples seeded with eggs were stored at 4 or 25°C or in a container inserted into the ground to simulate lagoon conditions. The number of eggs recovered from the
... vered from the samples decreased with storage time. The viability and infectivity of eggs recovered were related to the storage temperature; i.e., the eggs stored at 4°C remained viable longer than those stored at 25°C. After 25 months at 4°C, the Toxocara eggs and some Ascaris eggs remained both viable and infective, whereas most of these eggs stored at 25°C were rendered nonviable after 10 to 16 months of storage in sludge. Although storage temperature was found to be the most important factor affecting the destruction and viability of these eggs, other factors, such as the type of sludge digestion, whether or not the eggs were digested along with the sludge or added later, storage in the soil versus sludge, pH, and egg species also exhibited some minor effects. These controlled laboratory studies suggest that lagooning of sludge can be an effective method for the elimination of parasite eggs, particularly in warmer geographical locations. * Corresponding author. 618 free larvae of Trichinella spiralis. Exp. Parasitol. 1:245-255.