• Chicken in metro can cause gastroenteritis

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    Poultry meat samples in Metro Manila were found to be contaminated with drug-resistant Campylobacter bacteria, which can cause acute gastroenteritis, research suggested.

    Results were taken from recent research study conducted by the University of the Philippines Diliman-Institute of Biology, wherein a total of 265 chicken parts were collected from 15 different wet markets and 15 supermarkets across Metro Manila, Philippines.

    Chicken parts that underwent tests were breast meat, caeca, gizzard, intestines, liver, chicken skins and thigh collected in specific markets in Manila from February to August 2014. The research was published through the Japanese Journal of Infectious Diseases released in October 31, 2016.

    Following clinical and laboratory standards institute protocols, antimicrobial resistance profile of chicken meats were identified. After certain biochemical tests and PCR amplifications were used to be able to identify specific bacteria, about 207 or 78 percent Campylobacter spp. were isolated on modified charcoal cefoperazone deoxycholate agar plates. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli were also detected from 170 samples (64 percent) and 32 (12 percent) of the samples, both of which can cause gastroenteritis.

    The study showed liver and skin samples had the greatest level of contamination (97.4 percent). Also, more Campylobacter were discovered in wet markets (84.65 percent) compared to supermarkets (70.5 percent).

    According to one of the authors of the research study, scientist Gil Penuliar, Campylobacter is one of the most common bacteria in chicken meats and is the most common cause of human gastroenteritis. In its appearance, “it’s a gram-negative and appears comma or s-shaped under microscope,” he explained.

    Penuliar also explained that no immediate death can occur, but if left untreated, anyone can get complications such as bacteremia, hepatitis, pancreatitis and even miscarriage.

    If the gastroenteritis case is invasive, medical treatment is recommended.

    Campylobacter effects to human health

    In another interview, biologist Angela Melissa Carlos of the Institute of Biological Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Banos, explained the bacteria causes a foodborne infection known as campylobacteriosis, characterized by diarrhea, abdominal pain and fever within 2-5 days from ingesting food contaminated with the organism.

    “Bloody diarrhea may be experienced in more severe cases, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. The illness is usually self-limiting in healthy individuals, lasting about a week. In immune-compromised people, however, the organism may spread to the bloodstream [a condition known as bacteremia]and cause a life-threatening infection. The sequelae from such an infection include Guillain Barre syndrome, reactive arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome,” she explained.

    Other pathogenic bacteria that can be found in raw meats and poultry and even double dead meats include Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus

    Clostridium perfringens, Yersinia enterocolitica (highly associated with pigs), and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC).

    “Salmonella enterica Typhi can cause typhoid fever. Moreover, Listeria monocytogenes also causes meningitis, encephalitis and abortion. On the other hand, Shiga-toxin- producing E. coli strains can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome [leading cause of acute renal failure in children]and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura,” Carlos explained.

    “If for example, a contaminated meat with one bacterial cell with a doubling time behavior of 20 minutes, after three hours, there will be a total of 512 cells [total of nine generations],” Carlos explained.

    STANLEY GAJETE

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