Prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and antibiotics resistant E. coli on poultry carcasses and handlers’ hands at Ikpa slaughter, Nsukka, Nigeria
Handling and consumption of contaminated meat can lead to food poisoning and acquisition of antibiotics resistance genes. This study determined the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and antibiotics resistant E. coli on poultry carcasses and handler’s hands at Ikpa slaughter, Nsukka. Swabs collected from carcass surfaces and handler’s hands were cultured and isolates were identified with phenotypic and molecular methods. Coliform enumeration, antibiotics susceptibility testing and data analysis were done. Out of 204 samples, 29 (14.2%) were Campylobacter positive, consisting of C. jejuni (27.6%) and C. coli (72.4%) while another 67 samples yielded 23 (34.4%) positive E. coli. Coliform counts were 3.2x103cfu cm-2 and 1.06x103cfu cm-2for unwashed and washed carcasses, 2.5x105 cfu cm-2 and 0.5x104 cfu cm-2 for unwashed and washed handlers’ hands respectively. E. coli was isolated from 45 and 22% of unwashed and washed carcasses respectively and Campylobacter from 16% of unwashed carcasses only. One and five sticks swabbing methods yielded E. coli in 20.5 and 60.9% and Campylobacter in 12 and 83.3% of carcass samples respectively. Only E. coli was detected in 10 (90.0%) of the unwashed hands. E. coli isolates were multi drug-resistant at 80% with index >0.2 and a range of 70 -100% resistant to enrofloxacin, tetracycline, erythromycin, streptomycin and ampicillin; 30 - 50% to gentamycin, chloramphenicol and ciprofloxacin while; 10% were to cephtriazone and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. Prevalence of Campylobacter and antibiotics resistant E. coli spp. were significantly associated (P<0.05) with status of processor’s hands and swabbing methods hence, the public health risk and the need for improved hygiene.
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