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Volume 43, Number 1, February 2010

Bacteriological and Parasitological Assessment of Food Handlers in the Omdurman Area of Sudan

Humodi Ahmed Saeed, Hatim Hassan Hamid

Received: February 17, 2009    Revised: March 14, 2009    Accepted: March 30, 2009   


Corresponding author:

P.O. Box 407, Khartoum, Sudan.


Background and purpose: 

Pathogenic organisms are thought to be widely distributed among food handlers. This study was designed to assess the prevalence of carriers of some pathogenic bacteria and intestinal parasites among food handlers in the city of Omdurman, Sudan.



A total of 518 nasal swabs and stool specimens were collected. Nasal swabs were cultured on bacteriological culture media. Stool specimens were examined microscopically for intestinal parasites.



Of the total subjects examined, 30.1% were found to be carriers of pathogenic organisms. The pathogens isolated and identified were the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhi, and Shigella boydii, and the intestinal parasites, Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica/dispar. Bacteria and intestinal parasites were most prevalent among storekeepers (41%), followed by restaurant workers (24.4%), bakers (24.4%), butchers (5.1%), milk distributors (2.6%), and fruits/vegetables sellers (2.6%). S. aureus, the most abundant pathogen, was most prevalent in storekeepers (44.6%), followed by restaurant workers (25%), bakers (17.9%), butchers (5.4%), milk distributors (3.6%), and fruit/vegetable sellers (3.6%).



The findings from this study indicate a key role for food handlers in the spread and transmission of food communicable diseases and reveal the need for protective measures.


Key words:

Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, food handlers, Giardia lamblia, Staphylococcus aureus, Sudan