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Thaumatococcus danielli leaf is a known forest plant species that is widely used by food vendors for food packaging. In this study, the possible risk of T. danielli leaf used in food packaging, with its antibiotic-resistant pathogen transmission potential was evaluated. Five hundred leaves were swabbed from vendors at different food joints and were subjected to the routine bacteriological examination. Pure cultures from swabs were biochemically analysed, after microscopic examination. Most bacteria isolates were members of the Enterobacteriaceae. Other species included Staphylococcus aureus, CoNS (Coagulase-Negative Staphylococci) and Pseudomonas sp. The bacterial isolates were tested for their antimicrobial susceptibility towards 11 antimicrobials. As well as some factors such as community hygiene levels and people behaviour and their influences on the transmission of these microorganisms were statistically analysed using frequency tables. Most of the food vendors (43%) were between the ages of 31-40. Those with tertiary education were mostly aware (58%) of the possible transmission of pathogens by the leaves. Moreover, the leaves are preferred by food buyers irrespective of their income. Bacteria belonging to sixteen (16) different genera were identified, all of which were resistant to at least three antibiotics. The study showed that T. danielli leaves used by food vendors in two popular markets in Cape Coast Metropolis were contaminated and may serve as a possible vehicle for antibiotic-resistant bacteria transmission.
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