Assessment of bacterial isolates associated with mobile phones of meat sellers in selected markets in Benin city, Edo State, Nigeria
Mobile phones are essential components used to enhance social life and aid different professions. Swab samples were obtained from ninety-six (96) meat sellers' mobile phones in four (4) major markets; Edaiken, New Benin, Oba and Ogida in Benin City, over a period of four months. Mobile phones were sampled in the morning (8am-10am) and evening (4pm-6pm) between September, 2018 and December, 2018. Samples were immediately transported to the laboratory for microbiological processing and analysis using standard methods. The isolates were enumerated and identified, and antibiotics susceptibility test was carried out before and after plasmid curing. The study revealed that the mean total heterotrophic bacterial counts ranged from 1.07 ± 0.22 x 104 CFU/mL in New Benin market to 5.60 ± 0.12 x 104 CFU/mL in Edaiken market. The mean total coliform counts ranged from 0.60 ± 0.15 x 104 CFU/mL in Ogida Market to 4.63 ± 0.61 x 104 CFU/mL in Oba Market. The total staphylococcal counts ranged from 0.27 ± 0.09 x 104 CFU/mL in Oba market to 3.00 ± 0 ± 1.30 x 104 CFU/mL in New Benin market. Staphylococcus epidermidis, Bacillus spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella sp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp. were recovered. All the bacterial isolates had multiple antibiotic resistance index greater than the minimum limit of 0.2, indicating that the isolates are of significant public health concern. Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus spp all had multiple plasmids, according to the plasmid profile study. The existence of bacterial isolates linked to human diseases on the phones of meat vendors highlight their potential as fomites, which could lead to disease outbreaks resulting in infections with serious public health implications.
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