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Title: Occurrence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Indicator Organisms in the Satilla River Basin

item Vereen Jr, Ethell
item Lowrance, Robert
item Jenkins, Michael

Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2009
Publication Date: 5/19/2009
Citation: Vereen Jr, E., Rajeev, S., Lowrance, R.R., Gay, P., Jenkins, M., Lipp, E. 2009. Occurrence of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Indicator Organisms in the Satilla River Basin [abstract]. American Society for Microbiology, zmsy 17-21, 2009, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Application of poultry manure to pastures and crop land has been widely used because of its recognized value as a soil amendment. One of the major concerns of this practice is the increased risk of contaminating ground and surface waters with pathogenic microorganisms such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. The present study was designed to investigate relationships between land application of poultry manure, and the presence of the pathogens Salmonella and Campylobacter in the stream network of the Satilla River Basin (SRB). The SRB contains over 300 poultry houses and a waste water treatment plant (WWTP) that receives effluent from a poultry processing facility in the basin. Thirteen sites representing varying degrees of agricultural and human influence were surveyed monthly for one year for the pathogens and other measures of water quality. Conventional culture methods followed by serological biochemical confirmation were performed for Salmonella detection. A combination of cultural and molecular methods was used for Campylobacter detection. (selective pre-enrichment in Campylobacter enrichment broth followed by plating onto selective agars (CCDA or TSA with 5% sheep blood) and conventional PCR). Thirty-eight percent of the samples from the site with the largest numbers of chicken houses in the SRB and an agricultural area receiving poultry litter application tested positive for Salmonella and 33% were confirmed positive for Campylobacter with PCR. Forty-six percent of the samples have been positive for Salmonella below the WWTP (expanse), but only 23% of the samples were positive from the direct effluent from the WWTP. For Campylobacter, sixty-seven percent of the samples from the influent to the WWTP were positive, and 33% of the samples from the effluent were positive. Multiple serovars of Salmonella were detected at these sites. The presence of Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination in the stream network may have possible public health implications. Future research will continue to elucidate these pathogens potential association with animal agriculture and effluent from poultry processing to improve our understanding of their environmental impact.