Methods for Health Risk Assessment by Clostridium botulinum in Biocompost
In recent investigations in 66 out of 143 tested samples of biocompost or substrates containing biocompost Clostridium botulinum was detetcted.
In commercial potting soils, containing 50% biocompost, even at the purchase day, botulinum toxin was found in the plastic bags.
the number of cases of botulism in animals has been constantly increasing in the past years;
demands for quality control of human food make it necessary to reduce any contamination of the soil;
physicians need to become aware of the importance of human botulism.
The pathogen Clostridium botulinum endangers health and life of man and animals by production of a very potent metabolite, the Botulinum Neurotoxin (BoNT). It is an anaerobic bacterium, ie., it multiplies and forms toxin under exclusion of oxygen. Under certain conditions it is even able to create its own anaerobic micro-environment in aerobic atmosphere, supporting multiplication. Clostridia are sporeformers, ie., they may survive adverse conditions very well. By the so-called hygienisation during composting possibly not all spores are destroyed. As a result surviving spores will multiply during subsequent curing and storage in compost. The nutrients, warmer temperatures, humidity, and exclusion from air form ideal growing conditions.
The different influence factors will be discussed. The laboratory proof of bacteria and toxins is complicated due to the fact that internationally only the mouse bio-assay for food and pathological samples is accepted which takes at least 5–10 days for completion. New field and laboratory tests for compost and soils were established. First results are presented.
KeywordsSewage Sludge Health Risk Assessment Toxin Production Botulinum Neurotoxin Clostridium Botulinum
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Behrens S., Sukop U, Saternus K-S, Böhnel H (1998) SID and botulism: can a correlation be proved? Res Leg Med 18: 121 - 126Google Scholar
- Böhnel H (1999) Botulism — a forgotten diasease? (in German) Berl Winch Tierärztl Wochenschr 112: 139 - 145Google Scholar
- Böhnel H, Lube K (2000) Clostridium botulinum and bio-compost. A contribution to the analysis of potential health hazards caused by bio-waste recycling. J Vet Med B 47: 785-795Google Scholar
- Böhnel H, Briese B-H, Gessler F (2000) Bio-compost and Clostridium botulinum — a health hazard for man and animals? Microbiology and Composting, Oct 2000, InnsbruckGoogle Scholar
- Bundesgütegemeinschaft Kompost (BGK) (1994) Handbook of methods for compost analyses (in German). Abfall Now, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
- Bundesumweltministerium (1998) Bioabfallverordnung—BioAbfV BGBI 1: 2955 - 2971, Bundesdruckerei, BerlinGoogle Scholar
- CDC (1998) Botulism in the United States, 1899 - 1996. Handbook for epidemiologists, cli- nicians, and laboratory workers. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
- de Groot M, Steenhof V (1997) Composting in the European Union. DHV Environment and Infrastructure, Final report. European Commission, DG XI, Environment, nuclear safety and civil protection. Report No K 1089-61-001/AT-973090, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
- Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (1998) Hygiene in bio-waste composting (in German). Zeller, OsnabrückGoogle Scholar
- Dolman CE (1964) Botulism as a world health problem. Environ Health Sery Food Protect 1: 5 - 32Google Scholar
- Ewers U, Krause C, Schulz C, Wilhelm M (1999) Reference values and human biological monitoring values for environmental toxins. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 72: 255260Google Scholar
- Grabbe M (1996) Fundamentals of bioprocess management in composting biogenic residuals and their relevance to produce compost of reproducible quality (in German). In: Wiemer K, Kern M (eds) Biological waste treatment •I (in German). M.I.C. Baeza, Witzenhausen, pp 171 - 214Google Scholar
- Flaas CN, Rose JB, Gerba CP (1999) Quantitative microbial risk assessment. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Popoff MR, Argente G (1996) Animal botulism, is it a menace for man? (in French) Bull Acad Vét Fr 69: 373 - 382Google Scholar
- Seifert HSH, Böhnel H (1995) Clostridioses (in German). In: Blobel H, Schliesser T (eds) Handbook for bacterial infections in animals, vol 11/4 (in German). Fischer, JenaGoogle Scholar
- Smith LD, Sugyiama H (1988) Botulism. The organism, its toxins, the disease, 2d edn. Charles C Thomas, SpringfieldGoogle Scholar
- Westphal U (1991) Avian botulism (in German). Aula, WiesbadenGoogle Scholar