Differential E. coli die-off patterns associated with agricultural matrices

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Oliver, D. M., Haygarth, P. M., Clegg, C. D. and Heathwaite, A. L. 2006. Differential E. coli die-off patterns associated with agricultural matrices. Environmental Science & Technology. 40 (18), pp. 5710-5716. https://doi.org/10.1021/es0603249

AuthorsOliver, D. M., Haygarth, P. M., Clegg, C. D. and Heathwaite, A. L.

The investigation of fecal bacterial die-off in various agricultural and catchment related matrices remains important because of the growing concern over pathogens in agricultural environments and watercourses. The aim of this research was to investigate the die-off of Escherichia coli within cattle manure (both slurry [liquid mix of excrement and urine produced by housed livestock] and feces), soil, and runoff water and to determine if cell numbers would be influenced by the presence of cattle manure within soil and runoff water. E. coli survived better within feces than in slurry; cells within feces declined from 7.5 to 3.3 log CFU g-1 in 76 days. Within slurry, cells fell from 8.5 log CFU g-1 to below levels of detection by day 42. E. coli died off more quickly within manure and slurry than in soil amended with the same fecal material, and declined significantly faster within microcosms when introduced to the soil via sterile water rather than cattle manure. E. coli was found to decline more rapidly within wet (50% moisture w/w), rather than dry (25% moisture w/w), soil. Conversely, in runoff water, die-off of E. coli was increased in the presence of feces. Overall, E. coli die-off was most rapid in water incorporated with cattle manure > unincorporated cattle manure > soil incorporated with cattle manure. The derived die-off characteristics including half-life and decimal reduction times can now provide (i) input for predictive models and (ii) information upon which to consider mitigation strategies associated with both manure and land management.

Year of Publication2006
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Journal citation40 (18), pp. 5710-5716
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1021/es0603249
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Funder project or codeSoil Science and Environmental Quality (SSEQ)
Project: 2460 5186
Project: WA 0804
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online17 Aug 2006
Publication process dates
Accepted12 Jul 2006
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)

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