What a Waste!
Better manure management could help fight antimicrobial resistance
Joanna Cummings |
Antibiotics are widely used in livestock, and when manure is re-purposed as fertilizer or bedding, traces of the drugs can leach into the environment, potentially contributing to the global antibiotic resistance crisis. Yet studies of antimicrobial residues in the environment have mainly focused on municipal wastewater effluents.
Farmers typically use waste management systems to treat solid and liquid manure before re-use – reducing offensive odors and making it suitable for use as fertilizer. A team from University at Buffalo, New York, wanted to know how effective these farmyard systems are in removing antibiotic residues. Their ultimate goal? “We are looking for strategies to minimize the environmental dissemination of antimicrobial compounds and antimicrobial resistance genes to reduce the agricultural contribution to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance,” explains Professor of Chemistry Diana Aga, lead researcher.
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