American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease
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American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2017, 5(1), 1-7
DOI: 10.12691/ajeid-5-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Microbial Contamination of House Hold Refrigerators in Calabar Metropolis-Nigeria

Iquo Bassey Otu-Bassey1, Itodo Sunday Ewaoche1, , Blessing Felix Okon1 and Usang Akedor Ibor1

1Medical Parasitology/Enterobiasis, Medical Laboratory Science Department, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria

Pub. Date: February 11, 2017

Cite this paper:
Iquo Bassey Otu-Bassey, Itodo Sunday Ewaoche, Blessing Felix Okon and Usang Akedor Ibor. Microbial Contamination of House Hold Refrigerators in Calabar Metropolis-Nigeria. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2017; 5(1):1-7. doi: 10.12691/ajeid-5-1-1

Abstract

Background: Microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, its presence in a particular location and condition suitable for it multiplication dictate it pathogenicity or otherwise. Objective: To investigate the microbiological load and the potential risk of refrigerated food and water are exposed to in Calabar metropolis. Design: Sterile swab sticks moistened with peptone water were used to swab the refrigerator parts of interest. The swabs were aseptically transferred to appropriate culture media and the cultures incubated at 37¡ãC for 24 hours. Setting: The base, shelves and inner sides of 50 randomly selected household refrigerators in Calabar Metropolis were examined for microbial pathogens presence to determine their possible role as infection reservoir. Subject: Bacterial and fungal isolates were identified morphologically, physiological, and biochemically while parasites were detected by direct microscopy. Result: In all, 100% of refrigerators sampled showed bacterial contamination, 32% showed fungal contamination, while 8% had parasitic organisms. Genera of bacteria isolated in descending order of frequency were: Staphylococcus aureus 27.3%, Escherichia coli 20.2%, Shigella spp 13.0%, Pseudomonas aeruginosa 11.9%, Aeromonas hydrophilia 8.3%, Salmonella typhi 5.9%, Klebsiella pneumonia 5%, Streptococcus pyogenes 4.7%, and Proteus mirabilis 2.3%. Fungal organisms isolated were Candida albicans 54%, Penicillium spp 43.2% and Aspergilus flavus 2.7% while the parasites detected were Entamoeba histolytica/dispar 50% and Ascaris lumbricoides 50%. Conclusion: The presence of these organisms, including potential foodborne pathogens, in domestic refrigerators portends serious health implications. The need to maintain appropriate food storage and refrigerator management, and proper hand hygiene is recommended.

Keywords:
microbial pathogens refrigerators Calabar metropolis

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