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EMERGENT LIFE SCIENCES RESEARCH - Vol 4, Issue 2, Published on 31, December 2018

Pages: 1-10
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Microbiological quality and biochemical composition of water snail (Pachymelania byronensis) of lower Niger River basin

Author: Ifeoma Vivian Anyiam, Thomas Ohwofasa Ikpesu

Category: Research Article


Pachymelania byronensis is a mollusk that is very abundant in the Niger Delta ecological zone, Nigeria especially the lower region that has the brackish water. The meat of this gastropod serves as good source of protein to the inhabitants. Hence, its nutritional composition was investigated to ascertain its suitability for human consumption. The snail samples were randomly hand-picked from their natural environment during August, 2017 to January, 2018 from wet and dry seasons. A total of 144 P. byronensis (24 per station) samples were used for this investigation. The total heterotrophic bacteria count was determined using standard pour plates method. Coliform count was determined using MacConkey agar, total Salmonella /Shigella counts was estimated using Salmonella/Shigella agar and total vibrio counts was determined employing Thiosulphate citrate bile salt sucrose agar. The isolates were identified with reference to Bergey s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology. The foot muscle and viscera were used for the proximate estimation of nutritional composition. The bacteriological load in the P. byronensis revealed that there were variations in the occurrence of different groups. Salmonella /Shigella counts was highest 1.96 ± 3.45 X 103 (cfu/100mL) followed by Total vibrio counts 1.66 ± 3.13 X 103 (cfu/100mL). Total heterotrophic bacteria counts was 1.63± 4.97 X 103 (cfu/m) and least was Coliform counts 1.30 ± 3.70 X 103 (cfu/100mL). The nutritional status showed that the snail is a valuable source of seafood that can meet the nutritional requirements of man. The findings revealed that human activities might have influenced the microbial load in the Rivers, and the nutritional status of snail revealed that it could be used as food for humans, which would go a long way in maintaining the nutritional balance of human diet.

Keywords: biochemical characteristics, microbiological load, Pachymelania byronensis, total heterotrophic bacteria