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Title: Fingerprints of resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7 from vegetables and environmental samples

item ABAKPA, GRACE - National Biotechnology Development Agency, Nabda/fmst
item UMOH, VERONICA - Akwa Ibom State University
item KAMARUZAMAN, SIJAM - Universiti Putra Malaysia
item Ibekwe, Abasiofiok - Mark

Submitted to: Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2017
Publication Date: 5/23/2017
Citation: Abakpa, G.O., Umoh, V.J., Kamaruzaman, S., Ibekwe, A.M. 2017. Fingerprints of resistant Escherichia coli O157:H7 from vegetables and environmental samples. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 98(1):80-86.

Interpretive Summary: The use of contaminated irrigation water in developing countries is shown to be responsible for many cases of diarrhea and about 2.2 million deaths a year according to the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization also estimated that in Nigeria, about 200,000 deaths per annum is associated with food borne pathogens. In this study, fresh produce irrigated with contaminated irrigation water and grown in two locations in northern Nigeria were assessed for the prevalence of Escherichia coli O157 carrying multi-resistant genes. Our results showed that E. coli O157 that were resistant to many antibiotics were associated with the same source, but not location. The use of contaminated irrigation water in vegetable production in Nigeria may represent a significant route of transmission of diarrheal pathogen carrying multiple resistant genes to humans and hence represents a public health risk. This information will be of interest to produce growers, government and non-government organizations, as well as livestock producers in both developed and developing countries.

Technical Abstract: BACKGROUND: Some routes of transmission of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to fresh produce include contaminated irrigation water and manure polluted soils. The aim of the present study was to determine the genetic relationships of E. coli O157:H7 isolated from some produce growing region in Nigeria using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) DNA fingerprinting analysis. A total of 440 samples comprising leafy greens, irrigation water, manure and soil were obtained from vegetable producing regions in Kano and Plateau States, Nigeria. Genes coding for the quinolone resistance-determinant (gyrA) and plasmid (pCT) coding for multidrug resistance (MDR) were determined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 16 isolates that showed MDR. RESULTS: Cluster analysis of the ERIC-PCR profiles based on band sizes revealed six main clusters from the sixteen isolates analysed. The largest cluster (cluster 3) grouped isolates from vegetables and manure at a similarity coefficient of 0.72. CONCLUSION: The present study provides data that support the potential transmission of resistant strains of E. coli O157:H7 from vegetables and environmental sources to humans with potential public health implications, especially in developing countries. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry