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The contamination of potable water aquifers by heavy metals is one of the most severe environmental threats. For the transport of heavy metals from various types of contaminated sites into the ground water and also into surface water aquifers, humic substances (HS) are recognized to be of main importance. Dissolved in natural waters humic substances are readily complexed with a variety of metal ions. Therefore, humic substances are of cardinal importance for the migration and, consequently, the pollution of ground waters with heavy metals. Our paper presents the results of a comprehensive comparison of several isolated humic acids of soils of different origin (different geochemical milieu) and their metal complexes. Two polluted sites in Germany, which differ in their geochemical milieu (pH-value) were selected. The aim of our experiments was to describe the properties of terrestrial humic substances depending on their origin and genesis as well as the effects of the transport of humic substance-bound metals into the water-unsaturated soil zone. After determination of heavy metals in the soils by photon activation analysis the activated soil was used as an inherent tracer in batch experiments with the isolated humic acid. After adsorption of the loaded humic acid on an XAD-8 resin column, the partition of metals mobilized by humic acids could be quantified. There are correlations of the formation of metal-humic complexes with the soil pedogenes, with the pH-value as well as with the humic acid concentration.

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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors: Kerstin Stingl, M.-T. Knüver, P. Vogt, C. Buhler, N.-J. Krüger, K. Alt, B.-A. Tenhagen, M. Hartung, A. Schroeter, L. Ellerbroek, B. Appel, and A. Käsbohrer


Campylobacter is a poorly recognized foodborne pathogen, leading the statistics of bacterially caused human diarrhoea in Europe during the last years.

In this review, we present qualitative and quantitative German data obtained in the framework of specific monitoring programs and from routine surveillance. These also comprise recent data on antimicrobial resistances of food isolates. Due to the considerable reduction of in vitro growth capabilities of stressed bacteria, there is a clear discrepancy between the detection limit of Campylobacter by cultivation and its infection potential. Moreover, antimicrobial resistances of Campylobacter isolates established during fattening of livestock are alarming, since they constitute an additional threat to human health.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) discusses the establishment of a quantitative limit for Campylobacter contamination of broiler carcasses in order to achieve an appropriate level of protection for consumers. Currently, a considerable amount of German broiler carcasses would not comply with this future criterion. We recommend Campylobacter reduction strategies to be focussed on the prevention of fecal contamination during slaughter. Decontamination is only a sparse option, since the reduction efficiency is low and its success depends on the initial contamination concentration.

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