Posts Agriculture, Food

The excessive use of antibiotics causes drug-resistance in humans, cattle. How will they affect our environment? Together with its international partners, Luke is bound to find out.

Some antibiotics may double methane emissions from cow manure. Drawing: Tiina Sileoni

Professor Tomas Roslin, an insect ecology expert from SLU, Sweden and Principal Research Scientists Ilma Tapio and Alireza Bayat from Luke are heading off to investigate, how dairy cattle antibiotics affect the whole ecosystem, methane production, microbes and insects.
– During the last decade, we have come to realize how much macrobes like ourselves are affected by the zillions of microbes in our environment. Studying how antibiotics affect these associations is clearly the next step, Roslin says.
– If cattle manure contains drug-resistant microbes and different insects and worms take an active part in its decomposition, drug-resistant microbes could end up in their system as well. So, drug-resistance can be widely spread through natural ecosystems, Tapio describes.

From their recent studies, scientists know that some antibiotics may double methane emissions from cow manure. Now the focus of the study is on how strong an effect different antibiotics have on methane emissions. The first results are expected before the end of this year.