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Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Bacterial Infections Associated With the Use of Animal Wastes in Louisiana for the Period 1996-2004
Department of Biological Sciences, Grambling State University, P.O. Box 887, Grambling, Louisiana, USA
Louisiana State University Agricultural Experiment Station, Hill Farm Research Station, 11959 Highway 9, Homer, Louisiana, USA
Molecular Toxicology Research Laboratory, NIH-Center for Environmental Health, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State University, 1400 Lynch Street, P.O. Box 18540, Jackson, Mississippi, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 October 2005 / Accepted: 17 March 2006 / Published: 31 March 2006
Abstract: Animal waste from dairy and poultry operations is an economical and commonly used fertilizer in the state of Louisiana. The application of animal waste to pasture lands not only is a source of fertilizer, but also allows for a convenient method of waste disposal. The disposal of animal wastes on land is a potential non-point source of water degradation. Human health is a major concern when considering the disposal of large quantities of animal waste. Health concerns could exist from exposure to pathogens and excess nitrogen associated with this form of pollution. The objective of this study was to collect and analyze health data related to Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacterial infections associated with the use of animal waste in Louisiana for the years 1996-2004. An analysis of adverse health effects associated with the use of animal waste in Louisiana was conducted based on the incidence/prevalence rate for the studied years. The number of reported cases increased during the summer months. Analysis of health data of the studied years showed that the number of reported disease cases of E. coli O157:H7 were highest among Caucasian infants in the 0-4 year old age category and in Caucasian children in the 5-9 year old age category. Although the number of cases declined with age, a slight increase in rates was seen among the elderly population. While the rate of reported cases per 100,000 people remained the same for the years of 1999 and 2000, the rate decreased by 60% from the year 2000 to 2001. A slight decline of the number of cases that was also reported for the years 2002 and 2003. The high rate of identification in the younger population may result from the prompt seeking of medical care when symptoms become evident among infants and young children as well as the frequent ordering of stool examination when symptoms become evident in this population group. It was also noted that areas that had a higher number of reported cases also had a greater number of physicians per 100,000 people within the parish. The association with increasing age could be attributed to declining health and weaker immune systems often found among the older population. It was concluded that although some of the studied parishes surveyed had large amounts of animal waste generated each year, statistics did not show a correlation with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacterial infections.
Keywords: Non-point source pollution; E. coli O157:H7; Runoff water; Land application
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Hill, D.D.; Owens, W.E.; Tchounwou, P.B. Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Bacterial Infections Associated With the Use of Animal Wastes in Louisiana for the Period 1996-2004. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2006, 3, 107-113.
Hill DD, Owens WE, Tchounwou PB. Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Bacterial Infections Associated With the Use of Animal Wastes in Louisiana for the Period 1996-2004. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2006; 3(1):107-113.
Hill, Dagne D.; Owens, William E.; Tchounwou, Paul B. 2006. "Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Bacterial Infections Associated With the Use of Animal Wastes in Louisiana for the Period 1996-2004." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 3, no. 1: 107-113.