Full Length Research Paper
Omajuwa N. E.
The microbiological (epidemiological), proximate and mineral element composition of the different species of snails (Achatina fulica, Limcolaria sp. and Helix pomatia) obtained from three different market in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state were investigated. Total bacterial count ranged from 1.00 - 1.50 x 108 cfu/g, Coliform count ranged from 1.68 - 2.20 x 107 cfu/g, Salmonella/Shigella count ranged from 5.2 - 8.2 x107 cfu/g, lactic acid bacteria count ranged from 1.03 - 1.30 x 108 cfu/g and fungi count ranged from 7.3 x 107 to 1.00 x 108 cfu/g. The organisms isolated were Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Lactobacillus spp., Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus and Bacillus cereus while the fungal isolates were Aspergillus terrus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Absidia sp., Fusarium oxysporum, Eurotium sp. and Aspergillus flavus. The results showed that Helix pomata have the highest microbial load of 2.20 x 108 cfu/g. The proximate analysis showed that African giant snail (Achatina fulica) was nutritionally richer than the other snails. Mineral determination also showed that African giant snail had the highest amount of minerals. It was generally observed that snails though nutritionally rich are reservoirs of pathogenic microorganisms which are of public health importance.