Livestock manure is suitable for use as a composting material. However, various intestinal microbes, such as Escherichia coli, are significant components of such manures. Thus, it is desirable that the level of intestinal microbes, and particularly opportunistic pathogens, in compost is inspected and counted regularly. The sensitivity and specificity of detection of E. coli in compost have been improved by selective cultivation followed by colony polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using the ECO primer. Indeed, the sensitivity of this method is higher than that of DNA extraction from compost and PCR. In this study, changes in numbers of E. coli present in a field-scale composting process over time was assessed using selective cultivation and colony PCR. Numbers of ECO-positive colonies after 24 h decreased, with a concomitant rise in compost temperature. ECO-positive colonies were not detected from 33 to 48 h. However, ECO-positive colony numbers increased beginning on day 4 and continuing until day 42. Thus, it seems likely that the high temperatures reached during the composting process did not affect E. coli numbers in the final compost. Additionally, selective cultivation followed by colony PCR using specific primers is an appropriate method of determining levels of cultivable pathogens in composted materials.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of environmental science and health. Part. B, Pesticides, food contaminants, and agricultural wastes|
|Publication status||Published - 2011 Feb|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science