A survey of pathogens associated with Cyperus esculentus L (tiger nuts) tubers sold in a Ghanaian city

Patrick F. Ayeh-Kumi*, Patience B. Tetteh-Quarcoo, Kwabena O. Duedu, Akua S. Obeng, Kantanka Addo-Osafo, Samuel Mortu, Richard H. Asmah

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (SciVal)


    BACKGROUND: Cyperus esculentus L, is a minor but important crop in Ghana. They are noted mostly by their aphrodisiac properties among others. The nuts are often eaten raw as an unprocessed snack due to its rich flavour and texture. Though eaten raw, the nuts are sometimes handled unhygienically, posing a public health threat. This study therefore aimed at determining the level and distribution of parasitic and bacterial contaminants associated with the crop as it is sold. RESULTS: Four types of intestinal parasites were identified, and the most prevalent was Cryptosporidium parvum (30.0%). Nuts contaminated with parasites were found only among street vendors. Bacteriological examination showed three different groups of bacterial isolates with the most prevalent being coliforms (54.2%). Unlike parasites, bacteria isolates were found among samples from both street vendors and market places. Multiple drug resistance was displayed by Proteus vulgaris. CONCLUSIONS: Buying and eating nuts as well as other fruits taken raw from street vendors and market places could pose a significant public health threat. There is a need for efficient monitoring systems for food borne pathogens in Ghana.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number343
    JournalBMC Research Notes
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 6 Jun 2014


    Developing the manuscript for this research was supported by Building Stronger Universities (BSU), University of Ghana / Danida. The authors wish to acknowledge all street vendors and market women who participated in the study. We also wish to thank all the staff of the Departments of Medical Laboratory Sciences (SAHS) and Microbiology (UGMS) for their help.

    FundersFunder number
    University of Ghana


      • "atagwe" Milk
      • Bacteria
      • Cyperus esculentus L
      • Ghana
      • Parasites
      • Tiger nut


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