Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the rhizosphere of maize grown in waste-amended soil

A. P. Williams, L. M. Avery, K. Killham, D. L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: To assess whether the persistence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in soil amended with cattle slurry and ovine stomach content waste is affected by the presence of a maize rhizosphere. Methods and Results: Cattle slurry and ovine stomach content waste were inoculated with E. coli O157:H7. Wastes were then applied to soil cores with and without established maize plants. The pathogen survived in soil for over 5 weeks, although at significantly greater numbers in soil receiving stomach content waste in comparison to cattle slurry. Persistence of the pathogen in soil was unaffected by the presence of a rhizosphere. Conclusions: Other factors may be more influential in regulating E. coli O157:H7 persistence in waste-amended soil than the presence or absence of a rhizosphere; however, waste type did have significant affect on the survival of E. coli O157:H7 in such soil. Significance and Impact of the Study: Escherichia coli O157:H7 can be present within animal-derived organic wastes that are routinely spread on land. Introduced measures with regards to such waste disposal may decrease exposure to the organism; however, the persistence of E. coli O157:H7 for considerable periods in waste-amended soil may still pose some risk for both human and animal infection. This study has shown that whilst survival of E. coli O157:H7 in waste-amended soil is not significantly affected by the presence or absence of a maize rhizosphere; it may vary significantly with waste type. This may have implications for land and waste management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Volume102
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

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