Esther Esak Amusan, Sanni ABIODUN I, Banwo Kolawole Kolawole


Listeria species are ubiquitous in nature. The ubiquity of Listeriae enables them to colonize and persist in the food-processing environments and the food chain. Blue Whiting also known as panla is a pelagic fish that is widely consumed in Lagos and its environs.  The present study examined the prevalence of Listeria spp. from Blue Whiting sold at three retail markets in Lagos State. One hundred and twenty-four Blue Whiting samples consisting of fifty-three raw fish and seventy-one smoked fish were microbiologically analyzed using the Oxoid Listeria Précis method, Oxoid Listeria Test Kit and MICROBACT Listeria 12L system. Genotypic identification was carried out using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Of the 124 samples examined, 21(16.9%) were positive for Listeria spp. with 18 (14.5%) identified as L. innocua and 3 (2.4%) as L. grayi. Higher occurrences (14-24%) of Listeria spp. were observed between July and November, 2016. Fourteen out of 18 isolates selected showed amplification for the 16S rRNA region of Listeria spp. Sanitary conditions and personal hygiene should be adhered to during processing, distribution and marketing of Blue Whiting so as to reduce contamination by Listeria species since the presence of L. innocua serves as an indicator for L. monocytogenes

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