Med. Weter. 70 (8), 506-510, 2014

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Trawińska B., Józwik M.
Microbial contamination of soil in a silver fox farm
The research objective was to determine the degree of microbial contamination of the soil from a silver fox farm and animal feces in accordance to the season of the year and sampling location. The air temperature and relative humidity as well as sample moisture at the sampling sites were also evaluated. The studies were performed from October until September. Soil samples were collected from under the cages (GI), between the rows of the cages (GII) and at a distance of 30 m from the cages (GIII), whereas fox feces were taken from under the cages (KI), between the rows of the cages (KII) and 45 m from the cages (KIII). The soil and feces samples underwent qualitative and qualitative microbial assessment. The total count of mesophilic, psychrophilic, proteolytic bacteria, actinomycetes, from the group of coli and E.coli was established, according to the Polish Norms. The qualitative evaluation included genus identification of bacteria from the family Enterobacteriaceae in compliance with commonly applied procedures. The highest bacterial count under study was found in October in the soil samples from under the cages (GI). Bacteria E.coli and Salmonella rods were recovered from the soil (GI) and (GII) throughout the year, while Enterobacter spp. and Citrobacter spp. were isolated only from some GI samples. The highest average number of bacteria in fox feces was also established in the samples collected from under the cages at the turn of December and January. It was found that increasing relative humidity significantly decreased the count of all the bacteria studied in fox feces, whereas elevated air temperature contributed to declining numbers of psychrophilic bacteria and from the coli group. In the feces samples taken throughout the research period E.coli, Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. bacteria occurred, while Klebsiella spp., Enterobacter spp. were isolated in single samples. The growth of all the studied bacteria was affected by relative humidity and sample moisture, whereas psychrophilic bacteria and from the coli group by air temperature. Microbial contamination of the environment is substantially influenced by the season of the year and the pertaining atmospheric conditions, as the largest bacterial load in soil and feces was determined in autumn and winter. The highest bacterial numbers occur in soil and feces collected from under the cages, which is associated with increased organic matter (feces and feed leftover) content and medium moisture optimal for bacteria. Therefore, it is recommended to undertake preventive measures within the sanitary-veterinary supervision aiming at improvement of the state of health of fur bearing animals.
Key words: silver fox, soil, feces,