Identification of drug-resistant Salmonella from food handlers at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia

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Background: Salmonella species are among the most common food borne pathogens worldwide and their infection is one of the major global public health problems. During the last decade, multidrug-resistant Salmonella species have increased to a great deal, especially in developing countries. The prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of Salmonella isolates among food handlers at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia, were described in the current investigation. Method. A cross-sectional study was conducted from February to June, 2013 at the University of Gondar. Stool samples from selected volunteer food handlers were collected and analyzed complemented with questionnaire. Standard isolation, identification and biochemical tests were performed to identify Salmonella isolates. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were also carried out on each isolate using Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method. The data was entered into Epi info version 3.5.4 and analyzed using SPSS version 21. Result: Out of 423 food handlers participated, 303(71.6%) were females. Almost two-third (71.4%) of food handlers had no previous medical checkup to Salmonella infection and only 24(5.7%) of them were certified as food handlers. Thirteen (3.1%) food handlers were found to be positive for Salmonella isolates. The results of antimicrobial susceptibility test in the current research revealed that from a total of 13 isolates; 9(69.2%), 8(61.5%), 6(46.2%) and 6(46.2%) of the isolates were resistant to amoxicillin, ampicillin, nitrofurantoin and tetracycline, respectively. In addition, nearly half (46.2%) of the isolates were multidrug-resistant. However; all of them were sensitive for both ceftriaxone and gentamycin. Conclusion: This study indicated that drug resistant including multidrug-resistant Salmonella isolates were circulating among food handlers at the University of Gondar. These Salmonella positive food handlers pose significant risk of infection to the university community particularly to the student population. It is essential to implement food handlers training on food safety, conduct periodic medical screening and continuous monitoring of food handlers at the study university.




Garedew-Kifelew, L., Wondafrash, N., & Feleke, A. (2014). Identification of drug-resistant Salmonella from food handlers at the University of Gondar, Ethiopia. BMC Research Notes, 7(1).

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