Assessing antibiotic breakdown in manure

Mar 04, 2010

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist Scott Yates is studying how oxytetracycline (OTC), an antibiotic that is administered to animals, breaks down in cattle manure.

Livestock producers in the United States often use antibiotics to control disease in their animals, and confined U.S. livestock and poultry generate about 63.8 million tons of manure every year. The drugs are often only partially absorbed by the digestive tract, and the rest are excreted with their pharmaceutical activity intact.

Yates, who works at the ARS Contaminant Fate and Transport Research Unit in Riverside, Calif., found that in controlled laboratory conditions, OTC in cattle manure was degraded more quickly as temperatures increased and as the moisture content in the manure increased. But the OTC breakdown slowed as water saturation levels neared 100 percent. Yates concluded that this slowdown resulted when oxygen levels were not high enough to fuel the OTC .

Yates also noted that OTC breaks down more quickly in manure than in soil. Compared to soil, manure has higher levels of and moisture, which support the microorganisms that break down this pharmaceutical.

This laboratory research may be useful in designing studies that evaluate the potential effects of lagoons, holding ponds and manure pits on bacteria and antimicrobial resistance.

Livestock producers also might use the results from this study to maximize the breakdown of organic materials and potential antibiotics in by designing storage environments with optimum temperatures and moisture levels.

Results from this study were published in the .

Explore further: Snow leaves thousands of motorists stranded in French Alps

Provided by United States Department of Agriculture

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Managing carbon loss

Dec 03, 2008

As the United States continues to develop alternative energy methods and push towards energy independence, cellulosic-based ethanol has emerged as one of the most commercially viable technologies. Corn stover remains the ...

Study looks at turning manure into revenues

Sep 23, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Livestock manure isn't often thought of as a value-added product, but researchers at Montana State University and MSU Extension are trying to change that.

Recommended for you

Russia battles to contain Black Sea oil spill

Dec 25, 2014

A Russian Black Sea city declared a state of emergency Thursday after a burst pipeline spewed oil into the landlocked water body, with stormy weather hampering cleanup efforts.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.