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Drug-Resistant Microorganisms in Soils Fertilized with Sewage Sludge

DOI: 10.2478/v10265-012-0008-6

Keywords: Sewage sludge, manure, fertilization, soil, drug-resistant microorganisms, bacteria survival

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Abstract:

One of the methods of sewage sludge disposal, which is based on its fertilizing properties, is its use in nature, e.g. in farming (if all the permissible standards are met). However, the sludge used for soil fertilization might also contain heavy metals, pathogenic microorganisms, thus causing contamination in soil foundation and deterioration of the conditions for development of indigenous organisms. Particular threat is posed by the existence of drug-resistant microorganisms in sewage sludge. This problem has not been researched in detail yet. The authors of the present study aimed to determine qualitative changes in drug-resistant microorganisms in sandy soil fertilized with selected sewage sludge. Sewage sludge after different types of drying process (natural and solar) was added to the degraded sandy soil. The effect of the methods of sewage sludge drying on concentration of drug-resistant microorganisms in soil fertilized with the sludge was analysed. The study demonstrated that sewage sludge dried naturally in drying beds pose threat to soil environment and, potentially, to people and animals which have contact with fertilized soils. In sandy soils fertilized with these types of sewage sludge, pathogenic forms which exhibit resistance to first-line antibiotics can be found.

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