An automated truck wash study was conducted at a large layer hen facility to determine the effectiveness of a modified decontamination system for sanitizing semi-trucks and other farm vehicles. The commercial automated power washing system was modified with a fixed gantry that applied a chlorine dioxide (ClO2) disinfectant rinse as the truck exited the biosecurity facility. The truck decontamination study included the primary study plus one smaller Bacillus atrophaeus spore study, as well as air and water sampling. The goal of the field study was to determine the effectiveness of a two-stage automated decontamination system for sanitizing a large, semi-tractor trailer. The primary study objective was to evaluate two power washing techniques (power wash only with a surfactant or power wash with surfactant and a ClO2 rinse). The second objective was to evaluate the decontamination methods on four coupon materials (glass, painted metal, plastic, rubber) to determine the effectiveness of the two-stage wash system on inoculated coupons. The third objective was to determine the effectiveness of the decontamination methods on coupon locations on the truck (front windshield, middle side of trailer, undercarriage). The fourth objective was to determine the effectiveness of the decontamination methods on coupon surface type (coupons coated with or without synthetic grime).
The primary study evaluated 48 decontamination treatments to assess their ability to inactivate the MS2 bacteriophage, which is the viral surrogate selected for the study. The results show that the two-stage decontamination treatments increased log10 reduction of the MS2 phage. Log10 reduction increased an average of 247% and 118% for the non-grimed and grimed coupons, respectively, when comparing the automated wash with and without ClO2 rinse across all locations and material types. The average log10 reduction increased from 0.94 to 1.89 for the automated wash and the automated wash + ClO2 rinse, respectively, for the grimed coupons, across all coupon locations and materials. The average log10 reduction increased from 1.23 to 2.17 for the automated wash without ClO2 and the automated wash + ClO2 rinse, respectively, for the non-grimed coupons, across all coupon locations and materials. These results show that combining the ClO2 disinfectant rinse with the automated power wash increased viral efficacy by an average of one log (grimed coupons). Evaluation of the two-stage tuck decontamination system confirms that combining a power wash with a disinfectant rinse increases the ability of the system to sanitize transport trucks and increase farm biosecurity.
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