Cattle associated antibiotics disturb soil ecosystems

Manure from cattle administered antibiotics drastically changes the bacterial and fungal make-up of surrounding soil, leading to ecosystem dysfunction, according to a Virginia Tech research team.

The team analyzed soil samples from 11 dairy farms in the United States, and found that the amount of antibiotic resistant genes was 200 times greater in soil near manure piles compared with soil that wasn’t.

Furthermore, microbes with greater antibiotic-resistance showed higher stress levels.

Exposure to dairy manure leads to greater antibiotic resistance and increased mass-specific respiration in soil microbial communities | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences

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