Food Hygiene

Enterotoxigenic Bacteria in Food and Water

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APPLIED AND ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY, Apr. 1981, p. 1010-1019 Vol. 41, No. 4

Enterotoxigenic Bacteria in Food and Water from an Ethiopian Community

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Food and water samples from an Ethiopian community were screened for the presence of enterotoxin-producing bacteria. Using the Chinese hamster ovary cell assay, 40 of 213 isolates (18.8%) produced heat-labile (LT) enterotoxin. These LTproducing isolates comprised 33 of 177 (18.6%) strains from 24 of 68 food samples (35.3%) and 7 of 36 (19.4%) isolates of 4 of 17 water samples (23.5%). One LTproducing
strain each of Salmonella emek and of Shigella dysenteriae was found. Three pseudomonads, all LT producers, produced heat-stable enterotoxin as gauged by the suckling mouse test. Two strains of LT-enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli 068 were found in water samples. No enterotoxigenic E. coli were isolated from food samples, but 13 of the LT-producing strains were Enterobacter, Klebsiella, Serratia, and Proteus species, and 7 food samples yielded more than one species of enterotoxigenic bacterium.

Of the enterotoxigenic isolates from food, 15 were oxidase-positive strains of the genera Aeromonas, Pseudomonas, Achromobacter, Flavobacterium, and Vibrio. LT-enterotoxigenic Enterobacter, Acinetobacter, Klebsiella, Proteus, Providencia, and Serratia species represented 20 of the food and water isolates. Culture supernatant fluids of representative strains of oxidase-positive and oxidase-negative species giving positive reactions in Chinese hamster ovary cell tests induced fluid accumulation in rabbit ileal loops. Eight of the food samples and two of the water samples contained more than one isolate or species of enterotoxigenic bacterium.

The stability of the LT production by oxidase-positive bacteria and non-E. coli strains was assessed by the rabbit skin and adrenal cell tests after 9 months and 1 year of storage, respectively, in Trypticase soy broth with glycerol at -70°C. Only 33% of the oxidase-positive strains were still LT enterotoxigenic. Of the oxidase-negative strains, 50 and 33% were LT producing at 9 months and 1 year, respectively. None of the E. coli isolates, both enterotoxigenic and nonenterotoxigenic, possessed K88, K99, or colonization factor antigen.

The survey demonstrates the presence in food and water of enterotoxigenic bacteria of the same species as those isolated from cases of infantile diarrhea in the same community, although a correlation between these sources and infantile diarrhea remains to be established.


Written by WASHplus

July 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm

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