Runoff from animal production facilities contains various microbial pathogens which pose a health hazard to both humans and animals. Rotavirus is a frequently detected pathogen in agricultural runoff and the leading cause of death among children around the world. Diarrheal infection caused by rotavirus causes more than two million hospitalizations and death of more than 500,000 children every year. Very little information is available on the environmental factors governing rotavirus transport in surface runoff. The objective of this study is to model rotavirus transport in overland flow and to compare the model results with experimental observations. A physically based model, which incorporates the transport of infective rotavirus particles in both liquid (suspension or free-floating) and solid phase (adsorbed to soil particles), has been used in this study. Comparison of the model results with experimental results showed that the model could reproduce the recovery kinetics satisfactorily but under-predicted the virus recovery in a few cases when multiple peaks were observed during experiments. Similarly, the calibrated model had a good agreement between observed and modeled total virus recovery. The model may prove to be a promising tool for developing effective management practices for controlling microbial pathogens in surface runoff.

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