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Laima Berzina and Ritvars Sudars

Seasonal Characterisation and Trends Study of Nutrient Concentrations in Surface Water from Catchments with Intensive Livestock Farming

Temporal changes in observed nitrogen and phosphorus losses to surface water were studied in 3 agricultural catchments in order to evaluate the achievement of water protection targets in Latvia. The aim of this study is to investigate the water quality measures in high density livestock farming catchments. Long-term monitoring data (years 1996-2008) of water quality used in the analysis show a high annual and monthly variability of nutrients. The results demonstrate little or no reduction of nutrient concentrations in surface water. The results suggest that water protection measures for agricultural production need to be further intensified.

Open access

Viesturs Jansons, Ainis Lagzdins, Laima Berzina, Ritvars Sudars and Kaspars Abramenko

Temporal and Spatial Variation of Nutrient Leaching from Agricultural Land in Latvia: Long Term Trends in Retention and Nutrient Loss in a Drainage and Small Catchment Scale

Agricultural run-off monitoring and losses of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) from small (60 - 960 ha) catchments and drainage fields (12 - 77 ha) in Latvia were analyzed. The catchments represent areas with different agricultural production intensity, landscape, soils and climate. Results from the long-term monitoring show (i) large differences in levels of losses between the catchments and fields with different farming intensity, (ii) large annual and interannual variability due to climate impact and soil conditions, (iii) few time trends in nutrient losses. These results are discussed in relation to pollution from non-point and point sources. Besides, these data demonstrate changes in agriculture driven by large-scale changes in land-use intensity. However, despite the increased implementation of mitigation methods by farmers, improvements in water quality at the catchment scale can take a long time. Long-term monitoring programmes to detect trends are required.

Open access

Meldra Ivbule, Edvīns Miklaševičs, Liene Čupāne, Laima Bērziņa, Andris Bālinš and Anda Valdovska


Introduction: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a highly resistant and difficult to cure zoonotic microorganism, which makes up a large part of food toxic infections and has shown high prevalence among pig population all over the world. The aim of the study was to establish the occurrence of MRSA in slaughterhouses, evaluate its antimicrobial resistance, and verify whether there are any differences or similarities with reference to other European countries. Material and Methods: A total of 100 pigs, 105 carcasses, 19 workers, and 24 samples from the environment of several slaughterhouses were examined by conventional microbial and molecular methods. Results: In total, 78 MRSA isolates were found. MRSA prevalence in slaughtered pigs varied from 8.0% to 88.6% depending on the slaughterhouse, reaching higher prevalence in slaughterhouses with higher slaughter capacity. In total, 21.1% of all workers were carriers of MRSA and 6.7% of carcasses were contaminated with MRSA. The 98.2% of MRSA isolates were resistant to penicillin, 89.1% to tetracycline, 60.1% to erythromycin, 65.5% to gentamycin, and 15 different spa types were found, among which spa type t01333 was most widespread. Conclusion: The study indicated that MRSA prevalence and spa types differed according to slaughterhouse slaughter capacity and good hygiene practices. Quite high MRSA occurrence among slaughterhouse workers is one of the main factors which increase pork contamination risk.

Open access

Jānis Gardovskis, Ilze Štrumfa, Edvīns Miklaševičs, Arvīds Irmejs, Genādijs Trofimovičs, Egils Vjaters, Viktors Borošenko, Inga Melbārde-Gorkuša, Andris Gardovskis, Andrejs Vanags, Andris Ābele, Signe Subatniece, Marianna Bitiņa, Liāna Švampāne, Jekaterina Žestkova, Dace Bērziņa, Karina Aksenoka, Viesturs Boka, Aldis Puķītis, Aiga Stāka and Laima Tihomirova

Epidemiological, Clinical, Molecular Features and Early Detection Strategy of Most Frequent Hereditary Cancers in Latvia

The aim of the study was to determine epidemiological, clinical and molecular features of hereditary breast-ovarian, colorectal, endometrial, prostate and pancreatic cancer in Latvia. The study was performed from 2006 to 2009. Family cancer histories and DNA samples from 5,040 cancer cases were collected, and more than 6,000 molecular tests were performed including multiplex PCR, direct sequencing, denaturing high performance liquid chromatography and others. For the first time, a BRCA2 gene mutation positive hereditary breast cancer family was identified. The necessity of 2 BRCA1 gene founder mutations testing, irrespective of family cancer history for breast and ovarian cancer patients, was confirmed on a large number of positive cases. Regarding hereditary ovarian cancer, every ninth case affected with this malignancy was associated with the BRCA1 gene mutation. For the first time, positive familial adenomatous polyposis cases positive for APC gene mutation were reported and data on the clinical frequency of hereditary endometrial and prostate cancer were provided. In pancreatic cancer patients there was a 3.5% frequency of BRCA1 gene founder mutations.