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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2004;39(2):207-14.

Levels of zoonotic agents in British livestock manures.

Author information

1
Direct Laboratories Ltd, Microbiological Research Division, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, UK. mike.hutchison@directlabs.co.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

To determine the prevalence and levels of zoonotic agents in livestock wastes.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

A proportionally weighted survey was undertaken and livestock waste samples analysed quantitatively for Escherichia coli O157, pathogenic Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. A significant proportion of wastes contained at least one zoonotic agent. Relationships were found between dry matter content and the presence and levels of some zoonotic agents.

CONCLUSIONS:

British livestock wastes contain measurable levels of the zoonotic agents that cause most cases of gastroenteritis in the UK.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Animal wastes are disposed of by spreading to agricultural land used for the production of crops and livestock grazing. As British wastes are contaminated with significant levels of zoonotic agents, the practice may represent a way for pathogens to travel further up the food chain.

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