The Kinetics of E.Coli O157:H7 from Feces to Soil and Ground Water, on a Dairy Farm Reared under Field Conditions in Baghdad Province and Its Relation to Public Health

Zuhair A. Mohammed, Taif N. H. Mustafa


The aims of this study were to investigate the kinetics of E.coli O157:H7 from faces and its migration through soil into well- water, and the ability of E.coli OI57:H7 to persist on/in soil in Iraqi dairy farms reared under entirely different environmental conditions. The prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in fecal, soil surface (Z1, Z5, and Z10) and depth (D0, D5 and D10) and well-water samples from January through May 2012 were determined. Colonies isolated from fecal, soil, and water samples with morphological characteristic of E.coli O157: H7 on CT-SMAC, CHROMagar, were further confirmed as E.coli O157: H7 by biochemical reaction, and subjected to agglutination reaction to identifying the O157 somatic and H7 flagellar antigens. Of 32 fecal samples collected over 4 weeks sampling period, 24 (75%) were positive for E.coli O157:H7. Of 63 soil samples collected during the period of the study 43 (68%) were positive for E.coli O157:H7 in all directions of the farm. The prevalence of E.coli O157:H7 contamination transferred to the interior of soil decreased with increased depths, this correlation is highly significant. A total of 45 well-water samples were collected during April and May, 23 (51%) were found to be E. coli O157:H7 positive. The highest prevalence was in April (63%) compared to May (33%). A total of 140 samples (fecal, soil, and water) were collected in this study, 90 (64%) were found to be E.coli O157:H7 positive. Fecal samples had higher prevalence (75%) than soil and water (68% and 51%) respectively. In conclusion, the results of this study demonstrated that E. coli O157:H7 can persist for extended periods of time in the faeces, soil, and well-water in the dairy farm reared under natural conditions. This is important because it suggests that these may contribute to the dissemination of E. coli O157:H7 on food products intended for human consumption.

Keywords: E.coli O157:H7, dairy farm, kinetics, environmental pollution, public health

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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