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Fate of non O157 Shigatoxigenic Escherichia coli in ovine manure composting

Eliminação de Escherichia coli Shigatoxigênica não O157 em compostagem de esterco ovino

Livestock manure may contain pathogenic microorganisms which pose a risk to the health of animal or humans if the manure is not adequately treated or disposed of. To determine the fate of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) non O157 in composted manure from naturally colonized sheep, fresh manure was obtained from animals carrying bacterial cells with stx1/ stx2 genes. Two composting systems were used, aerated and non-aerated, and the experiments were done in Dracena city, São Paulo State. Every week, for seven weeks, one manure sample from six different points in both systems was collected and cultured to determine the presence of E. coli, the presence of the virulence genes in the cells, and also the susceptibility to 10 antimicrobial drugs. The temperature was verified at each sampling. STEC non-O157 survived for 49 days in both composting systems. E. coli non-STEC showing a high degree of antibiotic resistance was recovered all long the composting period. No relationship was established between the presence of virulence genes and antibiotic resistance. The presence of virulence genes and multiple antibiotic resistances in E. coli implicates a potential risk for these genes spread in the human food chain, which is a reason for concern.

bacterial elimination; VTEC; environment; compost; virulence gene

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Escola de Veterinária Caixa Postal 567, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte MG - Brazil, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2041, Tel.: (55 31) 3409-2042 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brazil