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    Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) has a high water content which predisposes it to spoilage by pathogenic bacteria that can pose significant health threats to consumers. The study aimed to determine the various pathogenic bacteria associated with tomatoes sold in some central markets in the Accra Metropolis. A total of 120 tomatoes were sampled, out of which 60 fresh, firm, undamaged tomatoes and 60 spoilt tomatoes were analysed. Cut portions of the fresh and spoilt tomatoes were swabbed with sterile swabs and cultured on Blood agar, Nutrient agar, and MacConkey agar. The antibiogram of bacterial isolates was determined by Kirby-Bauer disc-diffusion method. Out of the 120 tomatoes analysed, a total of 66 bacterial isolates were recovered, 68.2% were associated with spoilt tomatoes, and 31.8% were from fresh tomatoes. Klebsiella sp. (34.8%), Enterobacter sp. (24.2%), and Citrobacter sp. (7.6%) were the predominant bacteria isolated. Agbogbloshie market (36.4%) had both fresh (18.2%) and spoilt (18.2%) tomatoes contaminated, whilst Makola market (31.8%) had a higher spoilt (30.3%) tomatoes contaminated. Although none of the isolates expressed resistance to ciprofloxacin, resistance was found for ampicillin (63.1%), tetracycline (60.1%), and cefuroxime (59.1%). Varying levels of antibiotic resistance bacteria amongst tomatoes sold at various markets were found. Contamination might have been caused by poor sanitation, improper handling or transportation from the farms to the markets. The presence of antibiotic resistance bacteria amongst tomatoes raises concern on public health risks associated with the consumption of fresh tomatoes.

    Citation

    Forson Akua Obeng, Pokuaa Belinda Gyasi, Michael Olu-Taiwo, F Patrick Ayeh-Kumi. Microbial Assessment of Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) Sold at Some Central Markets in Ghana. BioMed research international. 2018;2018:6743826

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    PMID: 30627565

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