Bacterial contamination of Vhuswa - A local weaning food and stored drinking-water in impoverished households in the Venda region of South Africa

Natasha Potgieter*, Chikwelu Larry Obi, Pascal Obong Bessong, Eunice Obiajulu Igumbor, Amidou Samie, Rose Nengobela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bacterial contaminants of Vhuswa - a traditional maize-based weaning food, and domestic drinking-water stored in impoverished rural households in Venda of Limpopo province, South Africa, were determined. One hundred and twenty-five samples of Vhuswa fed to children aged less than five years were assessed for Escherichia coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella, and Shigella. The microbiological quality of 125 drinking-water samples was also evaluated using total coliforms, faecal coliforms, and faecal streptococci as indicators. The frequency of isolation of E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and C. jejuni from the Vhuswa samples was 70%, 5%, 5%, and 2% respectively. The geometric mean counts of total coliforms, faecal coliforms, and faecal streptococci in tap-water stored in household containers ranged from 4.9×102 to 5.8×103 cfu 100 mL-1, 2.6×102 to 3.7×103 cfu 100 mL-1, and 3.1×103 to 5.8×103 cfu 100 mL-1 respectively, and for stored spring water it was 5.1×103 cfu 100 mL-1, 3.2×103 cfu 100 mL-1, and 5.1×103 cfu 100 mL-1 respectively. The frequent contamination of water and food samples in this study has important implications for the health of children from impoverished communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-155
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Health, Population and Nutrition
Volume23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Diarrhoea, infantile
  • Drinking-water
  • Enteropathogens
  • Escherichia coli
  • Food contamination
  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • South Africa
  • Vhuswa
  • Vibrio cholerae
  • Water microbiology
  • Water pollution
  • Water quality
  • Weaning

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