Isolation, Identification and Antibiotic Susceptibility Profiles of Diarrheagenic Bacteria Associated with Food Handlers in Kericho Town, Kenya

Cheruiyot Sang, Samwel Odiwuor, Joseph Oundo


Background: Diarrhea as a result of food contamination from food handlers continues to pose serious public health concern. Food handlers as reservoirs of diarrheagenic bacteria are a constant source of infection to clientele visiting food establishments within both urban and rural settings. Isolating diarrheagenic bacteria from food handlers is necessary for accurate prediction on the frequency of these pathogens and potential changes in antibiotic resistance patterns.Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in Kericho town to determine the burden of diarrheagenic bacteria among food handlers. A total of 384 stool samples were collected from January 2015 to March 2015.Bacterial pathogens were identified by conventional microbiological methods; antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial isolates was ascertained using the disk diffusion and agar dilution methods.Results: Significant isolates were the Escherichia coli (Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli 5.7%, Enteroaggregative Escherichia coli 2.1%, Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli 2.1%, and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli 1.6%), Salmonella isolates 3.1% and Shigella isolates 1.0%. Conclusions: The study findings emphasize the importance of food handlers as potential sources of infections and suggest appropriate hygienic and sanitary control measures. Accurate epidemiologic information on diarrheagenic bacteria associated with food handlers in Kericho town will be critical for augmenting existing diarrhea management policies in terms of treatment and to strengthen future awareness and health promotion programs.

Keywords: Diarrheagenic bacteria, antimicrobial resistance, food handlers, Kericho town.

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