Genes indicative of zoonotic and swine pathogens are persistent in stream water and sediment following a swine manure spill

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
By: , and 

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Abstract

Manure spills to streams are relatively frequent, but no studies have characterized stream contamination with zoonotic and veterinary pathogens, or fecal chemicals, following a spill. We tested stream water and sediment over 25 days and downstream for 7.6 km for: fecal indicator bacteria (FIB); the fecal indicator chemicals cholesterol and coprostanol; 20 genes for zoonotic and swine-specific bacterial pathogens by presence/absence polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for viable cells; one swine-specific Escherichia coli toxin gene (STII) by quantitative PCR (qPCR); and nine human and animal viruses by qPCR, or reverse-transcriptase qPCR. Twelve days post-spill, and 4.2 km downstream, water concentrations of FIB, cholesterol, and coprostanol were 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than those detected before, or above, the spill, and genes indicating viable zoonotic or swine-infectious Escherichia coli, were detected in water or sediment. STII increased from undetectable before, or above the spill, to 105 copies/100 mL water 12 days post-spill. Thirteen of 14 water (8/9 sediment) samples had viable STII-carrying cells post-spill. Eighteen days post-spill porcine adenovirus and teschovirus were detected 5.6 km downstream. Sediment FIB concentrations (per gram wet weight) were greater than in water, and sediment was a continuous reservoir of genes and chemicals post-spill. Constituent concentrations were much lower, and detections less frequent, in a runoff event (200 days post-spill) following manure application, although the swine-associated STII and stx2e genes were detected. Manure spills are an underappreciated pathway for livestock-derived contaminants to enter streams, with persistent environmental outcomes, and the potential for human and veterinary health consequences.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Genes indicative of zoonotic and swine pathogens are persistent in stream water and sediment following a swine manure spill
Series title Applied and Environmental Microbiology
DOI 10.1128/AEM.04195-14
Volume 81
Issue 10
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Contributing office(s) Michigan Water Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 12 p.
First page 3430
Last page 3441
Country United States
State Iowa
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N