Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Fruit Production
Slugs may be helping spread E. coli to vegetables


March 31, 2008
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

Recent research findings from Scotland show that slugs have the potential to help transmit Escherichia coli 0157 to vegetables.

Recent research findings from Scotland show that slugs have the potential to help transmit Escherichia coli 0157 to vegetables. The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Aberdeen and highlighted in the January 2006 issue of the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal, shows that about 0.2 per cent of slugs on an Aberdeenshire sheep farm carried E. coli 0157. The results also show that the slugs could carry the pathogen on their skin for up to 14 days and excrete it in their feces for up to three weeks. “We conclude that slugs have the potential to act as novel vectors of E. coli 0157,” concluded the researchers.

Advertisment