Survival of the avian influenza virus (H6N2) after land disposal

David A. Graiver, Christina L. Topliff, Clayton L. Kelling, Shannon L. Bartelt-Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


An integral component in preventing an avian influenza pandemic is containment and disposal of infected bird (poultry) carcasses. Disposal of carcasses in Subtitle D municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills may be an advantageous option due to their large capacities and facility distribution in the U.S. In this study, the survival of H6N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) was measured in a methanogenic landfill leachate and water as a function of temperature, conductivity, and pH. Elevated temperature and nonneutral pH resulted in the quickest inactivation times for AIV in both media, whereas conductivity did not have a significant influence on AIV survival. Media effects were significant and AIV inactivation in leachate was consistently the same or faster than AIV inactivation in water. Based on an initial titer of 10 5 TCID50/mL, calculated inactivation times ranged from 30 days to greater than 600 days, indicating that AIV will remain infectious during and after waste disposal. Disposal of infected carcasses in a MSW landfill may be an appropriate option as inactivation times are within the design life of required barrier systems at Subtitle D landfills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4063-4067
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

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