Evaluating Different Manure Management Practices In Controlling Spread Of Antimicrobial Resistance From Dairy Farms

Funding Agency: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Collaborators: Curt Gooch (Cornell University); Stephanie Lansing, Gary Felton (University of Maryland); Lutgarde Raskin, Krista Wigginton (University of Michigan); Lauren Sassoubre (University at Buffalo)

Modern dairy farms are one of the most important agricultural businesses in the U.S. and are known to use large amounts of antimicrobials for disease treatment and prevention. As a consequence, dairy manures contain elevated levels of antimicrobial resistant bacteria (ARB), resistance genes (ARG), and antimicrobial residues that can potentially enter the human food chain when manure is used to fertilize croplands. This proposed integrated research and extension project seeks to evaluate critical control points in dairy farm operations that can prevent the spread of antimicrobial resistance from farm to fork, including: 1) manure anaerobic digestion (AD), 2) manure composting, 3) long-term storage of manure, 4) manure application and crop selection, and 5) general farm hygienic measures that reduce the use of antimicrobials. The effectiveness of advanced manure treatment systems in mitigating the spread of antimicrobial resistance will be evaluated through coordinated bench-scale and pilot-scale experiments to identify the driving manure characteristics and AD operating parameters for maximizing removal of antimicrobials, ARB, and ARG. Plant-uptake experiments will be conducted to determine if the type of manure treatment combined with the type of crops grown in soil are important factors in preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance from farm to fork. Key to accomplishing these goals is the development of a highly selective and sensitive method for analysis of multiple classes of veterinary antibiotics in manure, soil, and plant samples.

The overall goals of this project are to: (1) evaluate and test conditions for effective and sustainable strategies that mitigate the spread and persistence of ARB and ARG within the agricultural ecosystem, from farm to food crops, and (2) design training, education, and outreach resources (including web-based resources) that can be used by farmers, operators, and policy makers to prevent spread of antimicrobial resistance from farm to fork. Our specific objectives will integrate research, education, and extension efforts, and span bench-scale to pilot-scale to whole farm-scale studies, and include watershed hydraulic modeling of ARB and ARG movement within the environment. The UB Team will (1) evaluate the fate and removal rates of antimicrobials, ARB, and ARG in conventional and advanced manure treatment systems at 11 dairy farms and in manure-amended soil, and (2) Quantify the amounts of antimicrobials, ARB and ARG that can be transferred from manure-amended soil to human food crops, using different crops and manure treatment.

Recent Related Publications:

1. Noguera-Oviedo, K.; Aga, D.S., Chemical and biological assessment of endocrine disrupting chemicals in a full scale dairy manure anaerobic digester with thermal pretreatment. Science of the Total Environment 2016, 550, 827–834. DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.084.

2. Wallace, J.S.; Aga, D.S., Enhancing extraction and detection of veterinary antibiotcis in solid and liquid fractions of manure. Journal of Environmental Quality 2016, DOI:10.2134/jeq2015.05.0246

3. Wegst-Uhrich, S. R.; Navarro, D. A. G.; Zimmerman, L.; *Aga, D. S., Assessing antibiotic sorption in soil: A literature review and new case studies on sulfonamides and macrolides. Chemistry Central Journal 2014, 8 (1).

4. Tso, J.; Dutta, S.; Inamdar, S.; *Aga, D. S., Simultaneous analysis of free and conjugated estrogens, sulfonamides, and tetracyclines in runoff water and soils using solid-phase extraction and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2011, 59 (6), 2213-2222.

5. Tso, J.; *Aga, D. S., Wrong-way-round ionization of sulfonamides and tetracyclines enables simultaneous analysis with free and conjugated estrogens by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Analytical Chemistry 2011, 83 (1), 269-277.