Researchers have have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics changes the composition of bacteria in the soil.
The focus of the investigation was on sulfadiazine (SDZ), a widely used antibiotic in animal husbandry which enters the soil via manure. The researchers report that repeated application of the antibiotic leads to a decrease in beneficial soil bacteria and at the same time an increase in bacteria that are harmful to humans.
Since antibiotics are commonly used in animal husbandry, the implications for agricultural areas that are fertilized with the manure of these animals are of great interest. The study results confirmed the scientists’ hypothesis that the application of antibiotics has an effect on the composition of soil bacteria.
“After repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics, we found a decrease in the bacteria that are important for good soil quality. This means a loss of soil fertility and thus in the long run a decline in crop yields,” said Professor Michael Schloter, head of Research Unit Environmental Genomics at Helmholtz Zentrum München. “Moreover, the number of microbes living in the soil that are harmful to humans increased under the experimental conditions of the study.
“The increase in human pathogenic microorganisms in the environment has wide-reaching consequences for human health. We are in continous contact with these microorganisms, and the probability of contracting an infection increases accordingly. This applies particularly to diseases of the respiratory system and the lungs, as bacteria are spread through the air and inhaled. Moreover, many of the bacteria are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, which often makes treatment more difficult. We must therefore urgently develop a new mindset as regards the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.”
Citation: Ding, G-C. et al. (2014), Dynamics of soil bacterial communities in response to repeated application of manure containing sulfadiazine, PLOS ONE, 9(3): e92958, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092958.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Muslim Hijab Linked To Less Negative Body Image Among Women
- Tax And Spend Policies Could Make You Eat Healthier
- Neil Tyson On The Politics Of Science Denial
- Double Mastectomy Doesn't Bring Better Breast Cancer Survival Rates Over Lumpectomy
- Corals: Not So Passive, They Are Nature's Tiny Engineers
- Does Dr. Oz Think I'm An Idiot?
- Mutating Ebola Viruses Not As Scary As Evolving Ones
- "The supplements industry is mostly harmless. We can't say the same about our imperfect medical..."
- "Actually there is harm from the supplement industry. It comes from people not seeking medical help..."
- "Alex-i could argue that Oz, Povich, Springer and the idiots on The View all belong in the same..."
- "I have no obsession with Oz. What I do have is an absolute disdain for the supplements industry..."
- "Dude what you just wrote there is like saying that any of the numerous quantities in standard QFT..."
- Protein in plasma may one day change transfusions
- Maternal low protein diet promotes diabetic phenotypes in offspring
- Study indicates that the hippocampus mediates cognitive decline in Huntington's disease
- Discharged patients return to the ER because 'better safe than sorry'
- NASA satellites calling here you come again, Tropical Storm Dolly