ISABB Journal of
Health and Environmental Sciences

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AFRICAN BIOTECHNOLOGISTS AND BIOSCIENTISTS
  • Abbreviation: ISABB J. Health Environ. sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1937-3236
  • DOI: 10.5897/ISABB-JHE
  • Start Year: 2011
  • Published Articles: 14

Full Length Research Paper

Internalization of enteropathogenic human bacteria in lettuce and coriander plant tissue

Nduhiu G.
  • Nduhiu G.
  • Department of Public Health Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Gicheru M. M.
  • Gicheru M. M.
  • Department of Zoological Sciences, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya.
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Gathura P. B.
  • Gathura P. B.
  • Department of Public Health Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Karanja N. K.
  • Karanja N. K.
  • Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Githinji W. T.
  • Githinji W. T.
  • Department of Public Health Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Nordin A.
  • Nordin A.
  • Department of Energy and Technology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden.
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  •  Received: 22 February 2018
  •  Accepted: 19 April 2018
  •  Published: 31 May 2018

Abstract

The ability of plant rhizosphere and to some extent phyllosphere to support metabolism of some human enteric bacteria has been widely demonstrated. The nutrients provided by seedlings during germination support bacterial survival in tissue of growing plants. Plant rhizosphere has been described as being high in nutrients, and rhizosphere microbiomes are well adapted to this environment, enteric human pathogens when introduced to such environment face strong competition and their survival is depended on biofilm formation. Coriandrum sativum (coriander) and Lactuca sativa (lettuce) were transplanted in soil mixed with human excreta at a ratio of 40:1 containing 3log10 cfu/g soil of a mixture of human enteric pathogens, consisting of enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella enterica and control pots (positive and negative) were included in the experiment. At harvest, which was carried out at seven weeks after planting, soil, roots, stems and leaves were assayed for presence of enteric pathogens both on surface and in the tissue. Pathogenic E. coli and S. enterica were isolated from soil and on the surface of coriander roots. C. jejuni and C. coli were isolated from all the plant tissues. Conclusively, this study demonstrated a rarely reported internalization of C. jejuni and C. coli in coriander at seven weeks post-inoculation. It is therefore evident that use of untreated human excreta contaminated with enteric pathogens to grow edible vegetables, could pose significant food safety hazard when consumed uncooked or undercooked.

Key words: Internalization, enteric pathogens, human excreta, coriander, rhizosphere.