Petronillah R. Sichewo, Robert K. Gono, John V. Muzvondiwa, Nyoni Sizanobuhle
Abstract: Aquaculture products can harbor pathogenic bacteria which are part of the natural microflora of the environment. A study was conducted aiming at the isolation of human pathogenic bacteria in gills, intestines, mouth and the skin of apparently healthy fish, Tilapia rendali and Oreochromic mossambicus, from the Fletcher dam. Bacterial pathogens associated with fish can be transmitted to human beings from fish used as food or by handling the fish causing human diseases. Differentiation and characterization of various isolates was based on their growth characteristics on specific culture media (biochemical and gram staining reactions). The following human pathogenic bacteria were isolated Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholerae, Shigella dysenteriae and Enterococcus faecalis. All the bacterial species which were isolated from the fish were also present in the initial water samples collected. The isolation of enteric bacteria in fish serves as indicator organisms of faecal contamination and or water pollution. Their presence also represents a potential hazard to humans. The mean bacterial load of the isolates was found to be markedly higher than the recommended public health and standard value of 5.0 x 106 CFU/ml which has been adopted by many countries.
Keywords: Isolation, faecal contamination, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aeruginosa,