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29 May 2013

Faecal sludge management with the larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) — From a hygiene aspect

Cecilia Lalander, Stefan Diener, Maria Elisa Magri, Christian Zurbrügg, Anders Lindström and Björn Vinnerås from Uppsala University and Eawag: (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) in Switzerland and Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina in Brazil have recently published an article in Science of the Total Environment on the topic of sanitation and wastewater management.

Inadequate and lacking sanitation and wastewater treatment systems can lead to the spreading of diarrhoeal diseases. One contributing factor in the lack of such treatment systems is the lack of economic incentives for stakeholders throughout the service chain. However, the organic fraction of the waste is high in valuable plant nutrients and could be reused in agriculture and as animal feed. For example, grown larvae of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), make an excellent protein source in animal feed, while the feeding activity of the larvae substantially reduces the dry mass of the treated material. This study examined the effect of black soldier fly larvae on the concentration of pathogenic microorganisms in human faeces and found a 6 log10 reduction in Salmonella spp. in human faeces in eight days, compared with a b2 log10 reduction in the control. No increased reduction was observed for Enterococcus spp., bacteriophage ΦX174 or Ascaris suum ova.

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