Characterisation and public health significance of selected enteropathogenic bacteria isloated from Japanese quails(Cortunix cortunix japonica) in Lusaka, Zambia

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Hamakoko, Mukachikwikwi
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The University of Zambia
Animals are known to harbour different pathogenic bacteria with potential for zoonosis especially with food producing animals like poultry. Currently quail farming is rapidly gaining momentum in Zambia, as a source of protein in the form of meat and eggs. The study aimed at evaluating the prevalence of enteropathogenic bacteria (i.e. Proteus spp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp.). This work was a cross sectional study in Lusaka where consented fifteen quail farmers were sampled. These fifteen farms were selected from within Lusaka which had the quails going into market for sale. The aim of the study was to identify Salmonella and other entero-pathogenic bacteria on their prevalence in quails. The specific objectives were to characterise isolates and determine the public health significance for Salmonella, E. coli and Proteus bacteria positive farms. The sampling method done was probability proportional to size and systematic sampling at individual farms at set intervals. The study findings indicate that Salmonella was absent from the faecal samples collected however other bacteria of public health significance such as Proteus and E. coli were isolated. From the E. coli species isolated, six isolates were identified and shown to have resistant genes CTX-M. Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamase gram negative organisms are associated with antimicrobial resistance, which are part of an emerging problem worldwide. E.coli isolates were resistant to cephalosporins 100% Cefotaxime and 86% Cefoxitin. The findings also suggested that quail farmers that take up veterinary services experience very low isolates of bacterial contamination among their birds.. The study showed no Salmonella recovered from the faecal samples collected however other bacteria of public health significance such as ESBL E.coli with resistant genes are present that could become an important threat to food safety.