OCCURRENCE OF Escherichia coli O157:H7 ON CABBAGE, LETTUCE AND CARROT GROWN ON FARMS USING CATTLE MANURE AS FERTILIZER IN ZARIA, NIGERIA

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OCCURRENCE OF Escherichia coli O157:H7 ON CABBAGE, LETTUCE AND CARROT GROWN ON FARMS USING CATTLE MANURE AS FERTILIZER IN ZARIA, NIGERIA

 

Abstract

There have been a number of outbreaks associated with E. coli O157:H7, most of which are the result of consumption of contaminated fresh produce. In the present study, the occurrence of E. coli O157:H7 on fresh produce cultivated in farms using cattle manure as fertilizer was determined. Questionnaires were administered to 18 farmers growing cabbage, lettuce and carrot to determine some of their farming practices that may contribute to contamination of these vegetables during cultivation up to the point of harvest. A total of 360 samples of cabbage, lettuce and carrot and soils were collected over a period of 3 months from 18 farms, out of which 300 samples (50 cabbage, 50 lettuce, 50 carrot and 50 each of their respective soils) were collected from farms using organic fertilizer (experimental farms) and 60 samples (10 cabbage, 10 lettuce, 10 carrot and 10 each of their respective soils) from farms using inorganic fertilizer (control farms). The samples wereThere have been a number of outbreaks associated with E. coli O157:H7, most of which are the result of consumption of contaminated fresh produce. In the present study, the occurrence of E. coli O157:H7 on fresh produce cultivated in farms using cattle manure as fertilizer was determined. Questionnaires were administered to 18 farmers growing cabbage, lettuce and carrot to determine some of their farming practices that may contribute to contamination of these vegetables during cultivation up to the point of harvest. A total of 360 samples of cabbage, lettuce and carrot and soils were collected over a period of 3 months from 18 farms, out of which 300 samples (50 cabbage, 50 lettuce, 50 carrot and 50 each of their respective soils) were collected from farms using organic fertilizer (experimental farms) and 60 samples (10 cabbage, 10 lettuce, 10 carrot and 10 each of their respective soils) from farms using inorganic fertilizer (control farms). The samples were placed in sterile polythene bags, labeled and transported to the laboratory for analysis. These samples were enriched in modified tryptone soya broth and cultured on sorbitol MacConkey agar supplemented with cefixime and tellurite (CT-SMAC). Colourless isolates were picked and stored on nutrient agar slants. Conventional biochemical tests, Microbact 12E and latex agglutination test kit (Wellcolex) were used to screen, confirm as E. coli and serotype the stored isolates respectively. The results obtained showed that of the 150 vegetables and 150 soil samples collected from the experimental farms, 4 (2.7%) E. coli O157:H7 isolates were obtained from vegetables and 4 (2.7%) from soil. But of the 60 samples collected from the control farms, no E. coli O157:H7 isolate was obtained from the vegetables and soil samples. The eight E. coli O157:H7 isolates obtained were subjected to Enzyme Immuno-Assay (EIA) using Ridascreen verotoxin ELISA kit to test for theproduction of verotoxins. The result obtained showed that of the eight isolates tested, verotoxin was detected in only two of the isolates. The antibiotic sensitivity results showed that all the isolates were resistant to at least one antibiotics especially cloxacillin but were all susceptible to gentamicin and ciprofloxacin. From the questionnaires, it was deduced that the use of cattle manure as fertilizer is a major risk factor associated with the occurrence of E. coli O157:H7 on cabbage, lettuce and carrot grown on such farms. The study concluded that the major risk factor associated with on-farm contamination of fresh produce is the use of cattle manure and that the use of cattle manure as fertilizer in these farms was the major source of contamination of vegetables grown on them with E. coli O157:H7. Farmers need to be educated on the risk associated with the use of cattle manure as fertilizer and on ways to reduce contamination of fresh produce in the farm. Adequate precautions need to be taken in the course of preparing these vegetables for human consumption. Also, there is the need to curb the abuse and misuse of antibiotics in animal production, human and veterinary medicine.

 

OCCURRENCE OF Escherichia coli O157:H7 ON CABBAGE, LETTUCE AND CARROT GROWN ON FARMS USING CATTLE MANURE AS FERTILIZER IN ZARIA, NIGERIA

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