The destruction of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms at the source of contamination is necessary due to their adverse effects and to their increasingly widespread occurrence in the environment. To address this problem, Fenton and ozone oxidation processes were applied to synthetically contaminated cow manure to remove the tetM gene and its host. Escherichia coli HB101. The efficiency of the processes was evaluated by enumeration of E. colt HB101 and by PCR amplification of the tetM gene. The results of this study show that 56.60% bacterial inactivation (corresponding to a 0.36 log reduction) was achieved by a Fenton reagent dose of 50 mM H2O2 and 5 mM Fe2+ without acidifying the manure. Despite the high organic content of cow manure, 98.50% bacterial inactivation (corresponding to a 1.83 log reduction) was obtained by the ozonation process with an applied dose of 3.125 mg ozone/g manure slurry. The PCR study revealed that the band intensity of the tetM gene gradually decreased by increasing the Fenton reagent and the applied ozone dose. However, significantly high doses of oxidants would be required to completely eliminate bacterial pollution in manure. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.