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Makut MD
Reuben C Rine*
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Reuben C Rine*
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World Journal of Microbiology

Occurrence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in vegetables grown and sold in Lafia metropolis, Nigeria

Reuben CR and Makut MD 

Accepted 02 September, 2014.

Citation: Reuben CR, Makut MD (2014). Occurrence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in vegetables grown and sold in Lafia metropolis, Nigeria. World Journal of Microbiology, 1(3): 017-021.

Copyright: © 2014 Reuben and Makut. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

Abstract                                                         

Fresh vegetables have been implicated in several outbreaks of food-borne disease caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7, an emerging pathogen of increasing public health significance in most parts of the world. This present study investigated the occurrence of E. coli O157:H7 in vegetables grown and sold in Lafia metropolis, Nigeria. Forty (40) vegetable samples (spinach, cabbage, cucumber and bitter leaf) used in this study were obtained from markets and farms in Lafia metropolis. Strains of Escherichia coli O157:H7 were isolated bacteriologically by means of cultural techniques (involving enrichment on modified E.C broth supplemented with novobiocin (mEC+n) and selective plating on Cefixime-Tellurite Sorbitol McConkey Agar), biochemical characterization (Microbact 12E) and serological assays (Oxoid diagnostic kit, latex R30959601). The results obtained from this study indicated that 7 (17.5%) of the vegetables examined were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The occurrence of E. coli O157:H7 in cabbage, cucumber, spinach and bitter leaf was 20% (2), 10% (1), 30% (3) and 10% (1) respectively. The highest occurrence of E. coli O157:H7observed from this study was in spinach 30% (10) while the least was recorded in bitter leaf 10% (1). Samples obtained from farms and markets indicated 25% (5) and 10% (2) occurrence of E. coli O157:H7. This revealed that samples from farms were more densely contaminated than samples obtained from the markets. There was no statistically significant relationship (P>0.05) between the occurrence of E. coli O157:H7 in the various vegetables examined and the sampling sites. The presence and survival of E. coli O157:H7 in vegetables call for public health concern and a need for surveillance of E. coli O157:H7 in vegetables both in urban centres and rural areas.

Key words: Escherichia coli O157:H7, vegetables, occurrence, public health.