• compost;
  • hygiene;
  • invA;
  • monitoring;
  • ompC;
  • Salmonella;
  • Senftenberg;
  • W775


Aims:  The composting process needs to be validated for its hygienic status in order to ensure that it is free of pathogens. Generally, this is evaluated through temperature monitoring, or additionally through active inoculation and monitoring of indicator organisms. We aimed to develop a monitoring method for the heat-resistant indicator organism Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica serovar Senftenberg strain W775 for detection in composting biowastes.

Methods and Results:  The method development is comprised of: (i) optimization of molecular detection of bacteria belonging to the genus Salmonella; (ii) identification of a DNA marker for Salmonella strain W775; and (iii) development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based on both DNA markers. Subsequently, Salmonella strain W775 was inoculated and monitored during composting of biowastes in an industrial composting facility.

Conclusions:  A highly sensitive and specific detection of viable cells was obtained by enriching the compost sample prior to multiplex PCR analysis. Complete inactivation of Salmonella strain W775 was obtained within 4 days in an industrial composting facility at temperatures ranging between 41 and 57°C.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  We describe a monitoring method for the simultaneous detection of naturally occurring Salmonella strains and artificially introduced Salmonella strain W775 in composting biowastes that can be applied in routine analysis.