Infections by virulent strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus are frequently reported in Southeast Asia. This is due to the frequent seafood contamination by virulent strains. In this study conducted from 2008 to 2011, seafood like fish, shrimp, squid, crab, and molluscan shellfish were purchased from provinces in Thailand and three Southeast Asian countries and examined for the prevalence of three genetic markers of V. parahaemolyticus (species-specific gene: toxR gene, virulence genes: tdh and trh genes). An enrichment culture of seafood was examined for these markers using PCR methods. Molluscan shellfish showed a high frequency of contamination in Thailand. The shellfish harvested from the Gulf of Thailand were significantly more contaminated with virulence genes than those from the Andaman Sea. The seafood purchased from three Southeast Asian countries was positive for the three markers of V. parahaemolytcus at differing frequencies. The virulence markers (tdh and trh markers) were frequently detected in molluscan shellfish from Vietnam (17.9 and 8.0%, respectively), Malaysia (11.1 and 16.7%), and Indonesia (9.1 and 13.6%). These data suggest that the molluscan shellfish sold in Southeast Asian markets are highly contaminated with virulent strains of V. parahaemolyticus.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a main foodborne disease in seafood and generally seafood is
easily deteriorates in quality of color and flavor. In this study, clove (Syzygium aromaticum)
extract shows potent antibacterial activity against growth of antibiotics resistant Vibrio
parahaemolyticus on seafood samples (cockles and shrimps). Vibrio parahaemolyticus was
artificial contaminates on the samples with 106 CFU/ml. The samples were treated with different
concentration of cloves extract with 10 mg/ml which are 0.5%, 5% and 10% concentration
from methanol food grade extraction in 0 hr, 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 30 min, 60 min and
120 min. Tab water and deionized water were selected as a negative control. As a result, the
amount of 10 % cloves managed to mitigates the number of V. parahaemolyticus on seafood
samples in 5 minutes and 15 min on both samples. Therefore, our results signify the fact that
cloves can be apply as natural sanitizer which could meet consumer demands for safe and
traditionally consumed either raw without any undesirable effect when applied in the seafood
The present study aimed to provide an insight of C. jejuni ATCC 33560 phenotype profiles (carbon sources and sensitivity to osmolytes and pH) using Phenotypic MicroArray (PM) system in response to optimal and suboptimal temperature. C. jejuni ATCC 33560 showed utilization carbon sources from amino acids and carboxylates but not from sugars. C. jejuni ATCC 33560 is sensitive to NaCl at 2% and above but showed survival in a wide range of food preservatives (sodium lactate, sodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, ammonium sulphate and sodium nitrate). When incubated at suboptimal temperature, no phenotype loss was observed in carbon source plates. Phenotype loss of C. jejuni ATCC 33560 was observed in sodium chloride (1%), sodium sulphate (2-3%), sodium formate (1%), sodium lactate (7-12%), sodium phosphate pH7 (100mM and 200mM), ammonium sulphate pH8 (50mM), sodium nitrate (60mM, 80mM and 100mM), sodium nitrite (10mM), and growth in pH5. The phenotypic profile from present study will provide a better insight related to survival of C. jejuni ATCC 33560.
A total of 112 burger patties (35 beef burger patties, 39 chicken burger patties and 38 fish burger patties) which are commercially available at retail level were investigated for the presence and number of Listeria monocytogenes. These samples were analyzed using MPN-PCR method and conventional culturing methods. L. monocytogenes was detected in 33.3% of chicken burger patties, 22.9% of beef patties, and 10.5% of fish patty samples. From all contaminated raw burger patties, the estimated count of L. monocytogenes was ranged from 3 to 75 MPN/g. The results suggest that burger act as a potential source of listeriosis if the contaminated burger patty is consumed without adequate cooking. The risk associated with consumption of these samples was found to be high particularly for processed food at retail level in Malaysia. Therefore, food manufacturers play an important role in monitoring the manufacturing process and conduct a periodical surveillance on microbiological quality assessment on the processing plants. Besides, there is a need to increase awareness of consumers and food handlers to practice proper cooking of the burger patties before the point of consumption, to reduce the risk of listeria infection.
Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is a gram positive food-borne pathogen that is able to form biofilm on food factory surfaces. Formation of biofilm makes the bacteria much more resistance to environmental stresses such as disinfectant. The extracellular polymeric matrix (biofilm structure) which is mostly comprised of sticky extracellular polysaccharides (EPS) and proteins can protect bacteria in a harsh condition. The efficiency of four disinfectants on removing L. monocytogenes biofilm was investigated. Five concentration levels (100, 50, 25, 12.5, and 6.25%) of disinfectants were tested. In the microtitre assay, the optical density at 595 nm CV-OD595 value, was used to measure the amount of remained biofilm after 24 h. Results showed that disinfectants did not have significant effect on removing L. monocytogenes biofilm. Formation of L. monocytogenes biofilm significantly decreased the efficiency of disinfectants. Biofilm produced by strain number 9 showed higher resistance to disinfectant. Low concentrations (
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is recognized as a frequent causal agent of human gastroenteritis due to the consumption of raw, undercooked or mishandled seafood in many Asian countries. The number of V. parahaemolyticus cases reported is on the rise, and this becomes a concern to the Asian countries as seafood is favoured by Asians. This study aimed to detect and quantify V. parahaemolyticus in raw oysters and to determine the risk associated with the consumption of raw oysters. A total of 30 oyster samples were collected and analysed in this study. MPN-PCR and MPN-Plating methods were employed and carried out concurrently to determine the prevalence of V. parahaemolyticus in raw oysters. The results showed that the prevalence of total V. parahaemolyticus in oysters was 50.00% (15/30) where the MPN/g range was < 3 – > 11000 MPN/g for MPN-PCR method, and 40.00% (12/30) where the MPN/g range was < 3 – 4300 MPN/g for MPN-Plating method. MPN-PCR method was able to estimate the level of virulence (tdh+ and trh+) V. parahaemolyticus in the raw oysters where 10.00% (3/30) of samples were identified to be in a range of 3 – 30 MPN/g. A microbial risk assessment was conducted based on the enumeration data obtained from MPN-PCR method using @risk. The probability of illness annually was 1.76 X 10-6 with a prediction of 31 cases to occur with respect to the exposed Malaysian population, while the rate per 100,000 people was estimated to be at 0.104. In addition, the antibiogram of V. parahaemolyticus was determined using Kirby Bauer Disk Diffusion Test and the results indicated that the isolates were highly resistant towards Bacitracin (100.00%), Vancomycin (100.00%) and were least resistant to Chloramphenicol (8.70%). The MAR index of the isolates ranged from 0.17 to 0.50. In accordance with the results from this study, the consumption of raw oysters is a risk factor for V. parahaemolyticus infection and proactive actions should be taken to reduce the risk of the pathogen in order to improve public health.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a halophilic Gram-negative bacterium that is considered among
gastrointestinal pathogens. Thirty isolates were tested for their susceptibility using 14 different
antibiotics. One V. parahaemolyticus isolate was resistant to 10 antibiotics (cefotaxime,
ceftazidime, tetracycline, amikacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, ofloxacin, ampicillin,
amoxicillin-calv-acid, and cefepime). The V. parahaemolyticus isolates were resistant to
ampicillin (90%), amoxicillin–clavulanic acid (63.3%), cefotaxime (60%), ceftazidime (46.7%),
cefepime (50%), tetracycline (36.6%), and amikacin (26.7%). However, the isolates were highly
susceptible to imipenem (100%), and piperacillin and gentamicin (96.7%). Approximately
55% of the isolates showed a multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) index of >0.2, thereby
indicating the high risk of sources where these isolates originated. The occurrence of MAR
asserted the importance of determining drug susceptibility and monitoring the antimicrobial
resistance profile to improve and ensure food safety and public health.
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a major food-borne pathogen that has resulted in numerous
outbreaks around the world. Widespread distribution of the organism in various ecological
niches impedes the control measures. This study aimed to detect and quantify E. coli O157:H7
in beef sold in wet markets and hypermarkets in Malaysia and to determine the risk of E. coli
O157:H7 infection linked to consumption of beef. The rfbO157 and flicH7 primers targeted on
somatic antigen (O157) and flagellar antigen (H7) respectively of E. coli O157:H7 was used for
the MPN-PCR method. A total of 99 beef samples were collected from local wet markets and
hypermarkets. The highest E. coli O157:H7 contamination rate was observed in beef samples
collected from wet markets (89.50%), whereas the contamination rate in hyper market A and B
were compratively low (35.35 and 20% respectively). However, the microbial load was highest
in the beef samples from hypermarket A (1100 MPN/g) while E. coli O157:H7 bacterial load
in beef samples from hypermarket B and wet market ranged from 3 to 93 MPN/g and 3 to 240
MPN/g, respectively. Using the Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) approach
the risk was estimated incorporating the findings of the prevalence study and predictions
based on home storage, cooking and consumption patterns. Three different exposure pathways
were investigated to estimate the risk associated with contaminated beef and Monte Carlo
simulation was used to determine the level of uncertainty. The developed model predicated that
consumption of contaminated beef can be accountable for 1.83E+06 E. coli O157:H7 cases per
year in Malaysia. The reliability of the model, data gaps and further research needs, is discussed.
Through continuous improvement Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment provides valuable
insight into controlling and prevention strategies.
Cross contamination is one of the most important contributing factors in foodborne illness
originating in household environments. The objective of this research was to determine the
transfer between naturally contaminated chicken liver and leg to cutting board, hand glove,
knife and cucumber, during slicing. The microorganism tested was Campylobacter jejuni and
the results showed that the pathogen transferred to all utensils, at different transfer rate, despite
the low level of the naturally contaminating pathogen. With unknown concentration bacteria in
the naturally contaminated samples, a proportion of the utensils were still contaminated with C.
jejuni and not surprisingly, when the sample were contaminated with higher concentrations of
the pathogen, a higher proportion of the utensils had detectable C. jejuni cells present, though
in many cases cross contamination seems to be a random event. Transfer of the naturally
contaminating C. jejuni from the chicken liver and leg to the utensils were
To date, cholera has cycle the world seven times through the seven pandemic cycles that has
affected tens of millions of people. The objective of this study was to determine the presence
and density as well as the antibiotic resistance profile of Vibrio cholerae isolated from catfish
(Pangasius hypohthalamus). From the combination of the Most Probable Number-Polymerase
Chain Reaction-plating on TCBS agar methods, V. cholerae was detected in 32 samples and
V. cholerae O139 was detected in 7 samples, with a density ranging between
The aim of this study was to assess the most probable number-polymerase chain reaction (MPNPCR) technique for detection of Listeria monocytogenes in salad vegetables in comparison with reference EN ISO 11290-2 and Food Drug Administration Bacteriological Analytical Manual method using artificial and naturally contaminated samples. Based on recovery of L. monocytogenes from artificially contaminated samples, MPN-PCR showed a moderate correlation (R=0.67) between spiking concentration and microbial levels which was better than the FDA-BAM method (R=0.642) and ISO 11290-2:1998 method (R=0.655). With naturally contaminated samples, it was found that L. monocytogenes was detected in 25% of the vegetable samples using MPN-PCR; 15% of the samples by the FDA-BAM method and 8% of samples using ISO 11290-2:1998 method. Overall, MPN-PCR was found to be a rapid and reliable method that could facilitate the enumeration of L. monocytogenes in vegetables.
Foodborne pathogens have become a constant threat to the consumer and food industry.
Reduce efficacy of antibiotics with emergence of resistant bacteria has limited the opportunities
for controlling pathogenic bacteria in food commodities and treating foodborne infections.
Bacteriophages can be a promising alternative for alleviate the risk of transmitting pathogenic
bacteria via food commodities. Therefore, this research was conducted to find distribution of
bacteriophages in diverse niches in order to identify suitable sources for isolating bacteriophages
to use controlling foodborne pathogens. Firstly bacterial strains were screened for lysogenic and
selected suitable host bacterial strains were used for isolating and determining bacteriophage titer
in fresh raw food and environmental samples. Eighteen different lytic bacteriophages effective
against Campylobacter, S. aureus, L. monocytogenes and E. coli were isolated from this study.
Bacteriophages titer was determined within range of 102
to 1010 PFU/mL and bacteriophages
were most frequently isolated from chicken (60%) samples. The isolated bacteriophages could
be potential candidates for controlling foodborne diseases.
This goal of this study was to investigate the presence of Vibrio cholerae in street food,
namely satar and otak-otak, using Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP),
multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (mPCR) and conventional plating on Thiosulphate
Citrate Bile-Salt Sucrose (TCBS) agar methods. A total of 78 satar and 35 otak-otak were
purchased from different districts of Terengganu (Besut, Setiu, Kuala Terengganu and
Kemaman). V. cholerae was found in satar with LAMP (10.3%), mPCR (10.3%) and
plating (0%). No V. cholerae was found in otak-otak using the three methods. This might
be due to V. cholerae able to survive in satar after grilling due to its thickness which may
contribute to undercooking. This study concluded that low presence of V. cholerae in satar
and otak-otak can be detected by molecular methods but not the conventional plating
method. LAMP assay is a useful tool for rapid detection of pathogens in food due to its
simplicity, highly sensitive and visual interpretation capability. Though the prevalence of
V. cholerae was low in the samples, proper handling of this food will help in reducing the
risk of acquiring infection from V. cholerae in contaminated samples.
Several Norovirus cases due to consumption of green onions have been reported during recent years but reports on red onions are not found. Onions are one of the major tastes in Malaysian food which are sometimes consuming raw especially the green onion. Viral contamination in onions can occur due to planting condition and not properly prepared food. This situation can pose the human health risk. A method was developed to detect the Norovirus that might present on different type of onions. In this study, 60 samples were collected from local market. Elution by Tryptose Phosphate Glycine broth and concentration steps using negatively charge filter were applied to enhance the detection of virus in food due to low copies of virus on food surface. The viral RNA was extracted using Qiagen Rneasy Mini kit before further detection using One-step RT-PCR. The total incidence of Norovirus in green onion and red onion was 13.33% (4/30) and 3.33 % (1/30) respectively. This is the first report of the detection of Norovirus in red and green onions in Malaysia. Based on the results, it is concluded that this method is reliable to detect Norovirus on onions and vegetables surface and hence can be applied in the laboratories for routine or food borne outbreak investigation.
Little is known on the biosafety level of Vibrio spp. in freshwater fish in Malaysia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and concentration of Vibrio spp. and V. parahaemolyticus in
freshwater fish using the Most Probable Number-Polymerase Chain Reaction (MPN-PCR) method. The study was conducted on 150 samples from two types of freshwater fish commonly sold at hypermarkets, i.e. Pangasius hypophthalmus (catfish) and Oreochromis sp. (red tilapia). Sampling was done on the flesh, intestinal tract and gills of each fish. The prevalence of Vibrio spp. and V. parahaemolyticus was found to be 98.67% and 24% respectively with higher percentages detected in samples from the gills followed by the intestinal tract and flesh. Vibrio spp. was detected in almost all red tilapia and catfish samples. V. parahaemolyticus was detected in 25% of the catfish samples compared to 22.6% of red tilapia fish. The density of Vibrio spp. and V. parahaemolyticus in the samples ranged from 0 to 1.1x107 MPN/g. Although the maximum value was 1.1x107 MPN/g, most samples had microbial loads ranging from 0 to >104 MPN/g. The outcome on the biosafety assessment of Vibrio spp. and V. parahaemolyticus in freshwater fish indicates another potential source of food safety issues to consumers.
Antibiotic resistance in campylobacter is an emerging global public health problem after MRSA and VRE. Fluoroquinolone and macrolide resistance have been found to be more common in this world leading foodborne pathogen. A total of fifty-six isolates of Campylobacter jejuni obtained from raw vegetables
which are consumed as ulam (salad) in Malaysia, were tested with 12 antibiotics used clinically and
agriculturally. The resistance was determined using the disk diffusion method. Results were determined
by hierarchic numerical methods to cluster strains and antibiotics according to similarity profiles. Fifty
five C. jejuni isolates from different isolation sites were all clustered together into ten groups. This indicates that the commodities (raw salad vegetables/ulam) where the isolates originated might share a similar source of cross-contamination along the production route. All antibiotics tested correlated and there were four groupings reflecting their mode of actions. Generally, C. jejuni isolates were found to be highly resistant to erythromycin (91.1%) and tetracycline (85.7%). Both agents are popular antibiotics used clinically to treat bacterial infections. On the other hand, the C. jejuni isolates showed high percentage (80.4%) of resistance towards enrofloxacin, an extensively used antimicrobial agent in agriculture practices. This study showed that C. jejuni isolates were highly multi-resistance to as many as 10 antibiotics. Therefore, in terms of biosafety, the presence of antibiotic resistance strains in the food chain has raised concerns that the treatment of human infections will be compromised.
This study was undertaken to characterize the antibiotic resistance and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles of Vibrio parahaemolyticus isolates from raw vegetable samples. A total of 46 isolates of V. parahaemolyticus recovered from raw vegetables samples and were confirmed by PCR were analyzed in this study. Most of the isolates were resistant to nalidixic acid (93.48%) and were the least resistant towards imipinem (4.35%). The MAR index results also demonstrated high individual and multiple resistances to antibiotics among the isolates. From the RAPD analysis, the size for RAPD fragments generated ranged from 250 bp to 1,500 bp, with most of the strains contained three major gene fragments of 350, 1,000 and 1,350 bp. The RAPD profiles revealed a high level of DNA sequence diversity within the isolates. Antibiotic resistance and RAPD proved to be effective tools in characterizing and differentiating the V. parahaemolyticus strains.
Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) isolates are toxigenic and can cause food poisoning. Cooked rice is
a potentially hazardous food, especially in tropical countries. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in raw and cooked rice marketed in Selangor, Malaysia. In this research combination of Most Probable Number - Polymerase Chain Reaction (MPN-PCR) was used to detect gyrB gene in B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Five local varieties of raw rice samples were negative for B. thuringiensis but all (100%) were positive for B. cereus. A total of 115 cooked rice samples (nasi lemak, nasi briyani, nasi ayam and nasi putih) were studied for the presence of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. Nasi ayam was found to have the highest prevalence (100%) of B. cereus compared to nasi putih (76.2%) and nasi lemak (70.4%). Nasi briyani had the lowest prevalence (50%) of B. cereus. The frequencies of B. thuringiensis were found to be 10, 30 and 35.2 % in nasi putih and nasi ayam, nasi briyani and nasi lemak, respectively. The range of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis in the samples was from < 3 to 1100 MPN/g in different samples. Maximum number of B. cereus was observed in nasi lemak, nasi briyani and nasi putih ( > 1100 MPN/g) while nasi ayam showed less contamination (460 MPN/g) with B. cereus which was significantly different (P < 0.05 ) from others. The number of B. thuringiensis in nasi lemak, nasi briyani, nasi putih and nasi ayam were found to be >1100, 93, 9.2 and 3.6 MPN/g, respectively.
Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) is an important foodborne pathogen which can cause foodborne listeriosis with high mortality rates especially in susceptible population groups such as pregnant women, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. The biosafety level of L. monocytogenes in chicken offal has becomes a great concern as chicken offal is a cheap source of protein and it is often served as side dishes in South East Asian countries. In Malaysia, the consumption of chicken offal has almost doubled from 5 g per capita per day in the early 1980s to 9 g per capita per day in 2009. In this study, risk assessment was conducted to estimate the risk of acquiring listeriosis from consumption of chicken offal in Malaysia. A microbial survey on the prevalence and concentration of L. monocytogenes in chicken offal were carried out in Selangor, Malaysia over a one-year period (November 2010 to October 2011). It was assumed that there were no seasonal changes in the prevalence and consumption pattern all year round. Assuming that 5.6 million people in Selangor, Malaysia consume a single serving (125 g) of chicken offal per week, it is estimated that in a year there could be 0.61 cases and 1.98 × 10-4 cases of listeriosis per 100,000 population of pregnant woman and immunocompromised individual, respectively. However, the potential for getting listeriosis among the healthy population was very low, only 1.39 × 10-8 cases per 100,000 population. This study demonstrated risk assessment model not only used as a tool to estimate the risk of acquiring illness but it can influence public health surveillance and providing data in setting appropriate level of protection.
E. coli O157:H7 is associated with life threatening diseases such as hemorrhagic colitis (HC), hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). Raw milk is considered a high risk food as it is highly nutritious and serves as an ideal medium for bacterial growth. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in raw cow, goat and buffalo milk samples. MPN-PCR method targeting the major virulence rfbE gene and fliCH7gene of E. coli O157:H7 was used. Total of 177 raw milk samples were collected from local dairy farms in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. The highest prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 was found in raw cow milk (18.75%). E. coli O157:H7 was detected in 7.32% and 3.57% of raw goat and buffalo milk, respectively. The estimated quantity of E. coli O157:H7 in raw cow, goat and buffalo milk ranged from