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Persistence of Clostridium botulinum in the environment is well known. Getting rid of it after animal botulism outbreaks is so tricky, especially as far as manure concerns. This study aimed at 1. describing manure management on 10 poultry farms affected by botulism and 2. assessing the persistence of C botulinum in poultry manure after the outbreak. Each farm was visited twice at two different manure storage times (two weeks after manure removal and two months later). Fifteen samples of manure were collected on each visit and C botulinum was detected using real-time PCR. Management of manure varied among poultry farms (classical storage, addition of quicklime, bacterial flora or incineration). C botulinum was detected in the manure of all 10 farms, 56.5per cent of samples being positive. C botulinum was detected significantly more frequently at the second visit (65.8per cent vs 49.7per cent, P<0.01) and on the surface of the pile (63.1per cent vs 50per cent, P=0.025). This study shows the persistence of C botulinum in poultry manure over time after a botulism outbreak and highlights manure management as a key health issue in preventing spore dissemination in the environment and recurrence of the disease. © British Veterinary Association 2020. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.


Rozenn Souillard, Caroline LE Marechal, Loic Balaine, Sandra Rouxel, Typhaine Poezevara, Valentine Ballan, Marianne Chemaly, Sophie LE Bouquin. Manure contamination with Clostridium botulinum after avian botulism outbreaks: management and potential risk of dissemination. The Veterinary record. 2020 Sep 19;187(6):233

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PMID: 32586970

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