Journal of hazardous materials

Fate of Escherichia coli O157: H7 in agricultural soils amended with different organic fertilizers.

PMID 25910457


Five organic fertilizers (vermicompost, pig manure, chicken manure, peat and oil residue) were applied to agricultural soils to study their effects on the survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7). Results showed that E. coli O157:H7 survival changed greatly after organic fertilizers application, with shorter td values (survival time needed to reach the detection limit of 100 CFU g(-1)) (12.57±6.57 days) in soils amended with chicken manure and the longest (25.65±7.12 days) in soils amended with pig manure. Soil pH, EC and free Fe/Al (hydro) oxides were significant explanatory factors for E. coli O157:H7 survival in the original soils. Soil constituents (minerals and organic matter) and changes in their surface charges with pH increased the effect of soil pH on E. coli O157:H7 survival. However, electrical conductivity played a more important role in regulating E. coli O157:H7 survival in fertilizer-amended soils. This study highlighted the importance of choosing appropriate organic fertilizers in the preharvest environment to reduce food-borne bacterial contamination.