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Microbiological safety and antibiotic resistance risks at a sustainable farm under large-scale open-air composting and composting toilet systems

Liu, N; Xu, L; Han, L; Huang, G; Ciric, L; (2021) Microbiological safety and antibiotic resistance risks at a sustainable farm under large-scale open-air composting and composting toilet systems. Journal of Hazardous Materials , 401 , Article 123391. 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123391.

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Abstract

This study evaluated the microbial safety and antibiotic resistance risks of a sustainable ecological farm under large-scale open-air composting (OC) and green composting toilet systems (CT). Samples of livestock manure, compost, soil, vegetables, and rainwater were analysed to determine the best treatment of wastes and risk assessment of land application. Results showed that pathogenic bacteria (PB) in livestock manure was significantly greater than that in the surrounding topsoil, while the distribution of bacteria resistant to amoxicillin (AMX), tetracycline (TC), and amoxicillin-tetracycline (AMX- TC) was the opposite through long-term resistance selection pressure. E. coli and Enterococcus were the dominant pathogens in feces and surrounding soil, respectively, and AMX-resistant bacteria dominated soil, compost, and vegetable samples. Overall, while OC may significantly increase antibiotic resistance and effectively remove fecal PB, CT offers faster consumption with greater antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB) removal but more PB. Moreover, PB and ARB were concentrated in mature compost, soil in planting areas, vegetables, and rainwater. In farm soil and vegetables, AMX-resistant and AMX-TC-resistant bacterial communities displayed similar composition. These findings may explain the main pathways of PB transmission, migration and accumulation of ARB in farms, and the potential risks to human health through the food chain.

Type: Article
Title: Microbiological safety and antibiotic resistance risks at a sustainable farm under large-scale open-air composting and composting toilet systems
Location: Netherlands
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123391
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123391
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Aerobic composting, Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, Land application, Pathogenic bacteria, Risk assessment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107095
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