Contamination of herbal medicinal products marketed in Kaduna Metropolis with selected pathogenic bacteria.
The study aimed to evaluate the bacterial contamination of powdered herbal medicinal preparations sourced from identified herbal retail outlets in different parts of Kaduna metropolis. The assessments of the contamination of the herbal products were carried out using standard procedures: total aerobic bacterial plate count, measurement of some physical parameters, isolation and characterization of selected bacterial pathogens etc. The results showed that out of a total of 150, 70 (46.67%) herbal remedies were contaminated with Salmonella typhi, twenty nine (19.33%) with Shigella spp. Eighty eight (58.67%) and 98 (65.33%) were contaminated with Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. The total aerobic plate count results showed that the highest average count of > 5×107cfu/g was found in 89 (59.33%) of the preparations, while average plate count of ≤5×107cfu/g was found in 42 (28%) and no bacterial count was obtained in 19 (12.67%) of the preparations. Correlation was positive (P = 0.01; r = +0.109) between the physical parameters tested and the bacterial load. Antibacterial activities result of some common antibiotics showed that all the antibiotics had activities on the test bacterial isolates at various minimum inhibitory concentrations. Most traditionally prepared herbal medications in Kaduna state are likely to be contaminated with a wide variety of potentially pathogenic bacteria. The quality assurance of these products should be thoroughly enforced and monitored in the production and distribution of herbal preparations.
Key words: Herbal preparations, Kaduna metropolis, bacterial contamination, antibacterial assessment.