2021(4)      October - December, 2021

The rate of contamination, occurrence and molecular characterization of Pseudomonas isolates in vegetables collected from different regions of Sulaimani province, Iraq

Omer Ahmed Ghafour, Chawan Nawzad, Jutyar Kazm Khalaf, Niga Karim Bchkol, Ashna Latif Sharif, Shaida Rahim Watman, Taib Ahmed Hama Soor

Medical Laboratory Department, Technical College of Health, Sulaimani Polytechnic University, Sulaimani, Iraq


Vegetables are a form of delivering pathogenic bacteria, such as Pseudomonas spp. This study investigated the rate of vegetable contamination by bacteria with their bacteriological and molecular characterization in Sulaimani Province. The colony forming unit was used to indicate the rate of bacterial contamination per gram of vegetable. As a result, all studied vegetables were found to be highly contaminated by bacteria at high rates, reaching 64,816 bacteria/gm. Among them, coriander showed the highest rate of contamination (89,720 cfu/g), while the carrot had the lowest rate (43,260 cfu/g). The highest rate of bacterial contamination was in Qaladze region and Sulaimani city, while the least contamination was observed in Chamchamal. In total, 54 Pseudomonas bacteria were isolated and PCR amplification of 16SrRNA gene (670 bp) was used for the final confirmation. The resistance rate of Pseudomonas bacteria was the highest against Amoxicillin, (%98.2) and amoxycilin/clavulanic, (%96.4), while the Ceftriaxone and Ceftazidime remained more affective against the bacteria. Out of 54 Pseudomonas isolates, four isolates (7.4%) were found to carry blaOXA resistance gene, and two isolates (3.7 %) were positive to blaCMY. None of Pseudomonas isolates carried blaCTX, blaSHV or blaTEM genes. It is concluded that all vegetable types in the study were contaminated by bacteria at high rates, but the rates were different in the varying types of vegetables. All vegetable samples in all geographical areas were contaminated by Pseudomonas bacteria containing isolates that carry blaOXA and blaCMY genes, which are highly resistant to many antibiotics. Therefore, the vegetables in the studied area are at a threatening level to the public health if not properly handled and treated.

Key Words: Food-borne diseases, Vegetables, Pseudomonas, Resistance genes, beta lactamases.

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