Analysis of Bacteria, Helminthseggs and Heavy Metals in Tropical Mushrooms Sold in Selected Markets in Benin City, Nigeria

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A study on bacterial, helminth parasites and heavy metal contamination was carried out on two edible mushrooms namely; the Sclerotia of Pleurotustuberregium(Fr.) Singer and the fruit bodies of Lentinussquarrosulus(Mont.) Singer sold at Ikpobahill and Ekiuwa markets in Benin City. Two species of helminth parasitesviz. Toxocaracanis and Hookwormeggswere identified using test tube flotation method. The prevalence rates were 28.57, 4.76 & and 33.33% in Sclerotia and Lentinussquarrosulus for Ikpoba hill market and 40.00 & and 33.33 % in Sclerotia and Lentinussquarrosulus for Ekiuwa market, respectively. Three bacteria species, i.e. Streptococcus spp, Bacillus spp and Lactobacillus spp were isolated. Out of the eight heavy metals analyzed for, only Zinc (Zn) and Iron (Fe) were indentified in this study. Zn had concentration values of 30mg/kg and 72mg/kg in Sclerotia and Lentinussquarrosulus respectively while Fe also had concentration values of 406 mg/kg and 478 mg/kg in Sclerotia and Lentinussquarrosulus, respectively.The presence of helminth parasites may be due to contamination with faecal matter from dogs and humans. Contamination by bacteria may have arisen from exposure and poor handling during harvest and in market places. The very high levels obtained for Zn and Fe were higher than WHO permissible limits and may have resulted from the mushroom ability to hyper accumulate heavy metals from soil.

E.U. Edosomwan
E.O. Akpaja
D. Iyoha
Botany Research International