Navigation Links
Legionella bacteria found in compost products

A study conducted at the University of Strathclyde investigating the presence of Legionella in compost, has found that the bacteria exist in a significant number of commercial products.

The research, the first substantial analysis of Legionella in UK composts, suggests that the bacteria are a common part of the microflora found within the composts tested.

It is widely recognised that Legionella bacteria are commonly present in the environment and the researchers have found that compost could be a potential source of infection.

Dr Tara K. Beattie, of the University of Strathclyde's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said: "Disease causing micro-organisms are widespread in the environment, and therefore it is not too surprising that species of Legionella that can cause human disease are present in compost.

"Any environment where you have pathogenic bacteria could be a source of infection, and we already know that compost has been linked to human Legionella infection in countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

"Within the UK and across Europe composts have traditionally been composed of peat, whereas sawdust and bark are more often used to produce compost in Australia and New Zealand where Legionellosis associated with compost is more common.

"It may be that the change in composition of composts in the UK, moving away from peat based products, could be resulting in species such as Legionella longbeachae being present in compost and therefore more cases of infection could occur."

The study was conducted by Dr Beattie, fellow academic Dr Charles Knapp, Strathclyde PhD student Sandra Currie and Dr Diane Lindsay of the Scottish Haemophilus, Legionella, Meningococcus and Pneumococcus Reference Laboratory.

Twenty two different brands of compost, commercially available in the UK, were examined for the presence of Legionella bacteria 14 of those tested contained a variety of Legionella species. Some of the species found, for example Legionella longbeachae which was present in four brands, are known to have caused human disease.

Dr Beattie added: "A larger scale survey, covering a wider range of compost products is required to determine if these organisms, some disease causing, some not, are as widespread in composts as this initial study would suggest.

"It should be emphasised though, that although Legionella seem to be common in compost, human infection is very rare, especially if you consider the volume of compost sold and used.

"But with any potential source of infection precautions should always be taken. The occurrence of these bacteria in composts in Australia and New Zealand, and the cases of infection that have been traced to compost has resulted in hygiene warnings on compost packaging in these countries, and this is something manufacturers in the UK may wish to consider."


Contact: John Beaton
University of Strathclyde

Related biology news :

1. Infection biology: How Legionella subverts to survive
2. Mechanism discovered which aids Legionella to camouflage itself in the organism
3. How bacteria integrate autotransporters into their outer membrane
4. Bacteria responsible for gum disease facilitates rheumatoid arthritis
5. Stomach bacteria switch off human immune defences to cause disease
6. Rich or poor in gut bacteria brings new vision for obesity treatment
7. Bacterial toxins cause deadly heart disease
8. UC Davis researchers discover molecular target for the bacterial infection brucellosis
9. High-angle helix helps bacteria swim
10. Newly discovered bacterial partnership changes ocean chemistry
11. Bacterial blockade
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/9/2015)... 2015 ... "Global Law Enforcement Biometrics Market 2015-2019" ... ) has announced the addition ... Market 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of ...
(Date:11/2/2015)... Calif. , Nov. 2, 2015  SRI International ... million to provide preclinical development services to the National ... contract, SRI will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and ... variety of preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate ... --> The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015 Daon, a global leader in mobile ... a new version of its IdentityX Platform , ... America have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and ... FIDO UAF certified server component as an ... FIDO features. These customers include some of the largest ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Report is a professional and in-depth study on ...      (Logo: ) , ... the industry including definitions, classifications, applications and industry ... for the international markets including development trends, competitive ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... in New York on Wednesday, December 2 ... Torley , president and CEO, will provide a corporate overview. ... York at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT . ... relations, will provide a corporate overview. --> th ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Clintrax Global, Inc., a worldwide provider of clinical research services headquartered ... the company has set a new quarterly earnings record in Q3 ... posted for Q3 of 2014 to Q3 of 2015.   ... , with the establishment of an Asia-Pacific ... United Kingdom and Mexico , with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> ... released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal ... of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. ... Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast ... market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: