Survival of Pathogenic and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Vermicompost, Sewage Sludge, and Other Types of Composts in Temperate Climate Conditions

  • Lelde Grantina-IevinaEmail author
  • Ieva Rodze
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 58)


A great variety of organic waste materials are common in Europe and northern temperate climate conditions, depending from waste sources, agricultural practices, characteristics of national industries, waste treatment practices, and economic circumstances. Waste can contain various harmful and undesirable substances, such as pathogenic organisms and antibiotic residues; the application of waste to the soil as fertilizer can spread antibiotic resistance genes into the environment. Pathogenic organisms that are dangerous to human health include verotoxin-producing Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Enterococcus, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter coli, C. jejuni, and Neisseria meningitidis. It has proven to be difficult to reduce the numbers of spore-forming bacteria (Clostridium spp. and Bacillus spp.) and antibiotic resistance genes, especially in the anaerobic digestion of manure. This review aims to provide an overview of the most common waste sources and waste treatment methodologies suitable for Northern temperate climate conditions in the presence of pathogenic bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes. Vermicomposting with black soldier fly Hermetia illucens, thermal hydrolysis, thermophilic anaerobic digestion, wet oxidation, pyrolysis and roto-autoclaving of the waste, and drying and pelleting of the digestate have been identified as novel approaches in waste treatment.


Municipal waste Sludge Wood waste Potato pulp Human and animal faeces Animal waste Pathogenic bacteria 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Animal Disease Diagnostic LaboratoryInstitute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR”RigaLatvia

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