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:4/26/2016)... April 27, 2016 Research ... Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal ... 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal ... sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ON , June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. ... has been advised by its major shareholders, Clean Technology ... United States based venture capital ... shares of Biorem (on a fully diluted, as converted ... the disposition of their entire equity holdings in Biorem ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, former ... of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective June ... UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of ... the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the ... of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the creation ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or "the ... a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for the ... WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, possessing ... for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been achieved ...
Breaking Biology Technology: