Parasitological contamination of arable soil in selected regions of Poland – preliminary study
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Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute – State Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Department of Health Biohazards and Parasitology, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Plant Nutrition and Fertilization, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation State Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Department of Soil Science Erosion and Land Protection, Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation State Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
Corresponding author
Jolanta Małgorzata Zdybel   

Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute – State Research Institute, 57 Partyzantow Avenue, 24-100, Puławy, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2023;30(4):661-668
Introduction and objective:
The hygienic status of arable soils in most developed countries has been unknown. In the presented study, a preliminary investigation was undertaken to determine the contamination with eggs of parasitic nematodes in the soil of arable fields in Poland. The aim of the study was to determine whether such contamination is common enough to constitute a significant problem and what factors may influence it.

Material and methods:
The study was conducted in 5 Polish provinces from autumn 2021 to spring 2022. The provinces differed significantly in terms of the area of agricultural land, agricultural suitability, type of soil, scale of cattle and pig breeding, production of manure and slurry, and the use of manures and organic fertilizers for fertilization. A total of 133 soil samples were collected. Parasitological examination of soil samples was carried out using the PN-Z-19006 method [1], with confirmed high sensitivity.

Parasite eggs were found in a total of 67 samples, of which 56 samples contained eggs of roundworms of the genus Ascaris (an average of 3.29 eggs/100 g of soil), 23 contained eggs of whipworms (an average of 1.22 eggs/100 g), and 3 contained eggs of Toxocara (1 egg/100 g).

Differences in the percentage of positive samples were found depending on the period in which the samples were taken. The percentage of positive samples collected in autumn (53.57%) was higher than the percentage of positive samples collected in spring (48.05%). Similarly, the average number of eggs of in positive samples collected in autumn (3.43 eggs/100 g) was higher than the average number of eggs in samples collected in spring (2.90 eggs/100 g). Differences in the percentage of positive samples were also found depending on the region of origin of the samples.

This study was supported by the National Centre for Research and Development (Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwój – NCBiR), Grant: GOSPOSTRATEG-III/0061/2020–00 OrgSafety: ‘Introduction of a innovative, cheap and environmentally-friendly method of hygienizing organic waste, enabling its use in fertilization’.
Polish Committee for Standardization. 2023. PN-Z-19006:2023-04 Soil quality. Assessment of the sanitary condition of materials introduced into the soil. Detection of eggs of intestinal parasites of the genera Ascaris. Trichuris and Toxocara in organic fertilizers.
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