Prevalence of Campylobacter Jejuni and Other Bacterial Pathogens in Selected Foods and Drinks Served in Fast Food Kiosks in Ngara and Burma Markets in Nairobi
Odhiambo, Winnie Awuor
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Enteric pathogens such as Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli, Vibrio and Campylobacter are easily transmitted when contaminated food is consumed, ending up in outbreaks. Campylobacter is one of the most important pathogens as it can cause infections which may lead to health complications that could be fatal. Limited data exist on Campylobacter infections from fast food kiosks in Kenya. This study was aimed at determining the risk factors of campylobacteriosis, microbial load in water, milk and cooked chicken, survival rates and identify other pathogens in the food and water served at commercial catering points in Nairobi's Ngara and Burma markets. A questionnaire was administered to food vendors to obtain information on the risk factors associated with Campylobacteriosis. A total of 135 samples; chicken (45), water (45) and milk (45) were sampled and their microbial load determined by colony count. Campylobacter isolation was done using charcoal cefoperazone desoxycholate agar and confirmed by biochemical tests, while other enteric were isolated through standard bacterial culture and isolation techniques. Survivalrates of these isolates in varied temperatures were evaluated. Age, education level, occupation, undercooking of chicken, site of processing chicken, source of milk, storage of milk, source of water and method of treating drinking water were found to influence transmission of Campylobacter, while hand washing and serving of food by chicken processors were not found to influence the transmission of Campylobacter. The microbial load in chicken was 111.738 x 10 4 CFU/ml and 67.893 x 104 CFU/ml in Burma and Ngara markets respectively, while in milk, it was 115.673 xlO 4 CFU/ml and 160.354 xlO 4 CFU/ml in Burma and Ngara market respectively. Microbial load in water was determined by the most probable number technique, the load was 3.083331100 ml and 3.54167/1 00 ml in Burma and Ngara market respectively. There was no significant difference in the Microbial load across the samples; milk (p<0.0396), chicken (p<0.0053) and water (p<0.3805) in both Ngara and Burma markets. Temperatures below the optimum growth temperature for C. jejuni (42°C) generally seemed to have inhibitory effect on the population of the organism. Survival of Campylobacter was poor in water and chicken at room temperature (25°C) while in chicken and milk stored at 4°C, Campylobacter had higher survival rates. Chicken in Burma market, 6 (13.3%) had the highest prevalence of the pathogens; Salmonella, Shighella and Vibrio isolates were detected with E coli as the most prevalent npathogen. This research has shown that the food eaten in most urban centres of Ngara and Burma market pose high risk to infection hence warranting consistent surveillance. Proper storage of food and drinks after they have been thoroughly boiled is recommended.