Characterization of Bacterial Strains from Rotten Fruits Treated with Harmful Preservatives

Roheen ,, Zakia Latif


Background: Fruits are beneficial to maintain good health, but microbes can spoil them. To avoid spoilage of fruits different harmful preservatives are being used that pose danger to human health and environment. This study was designed to isolate bacterial strains from rotten fruits preserved by using different preservatives.

Methods: Different rotten fruit samples were collected from different shops of Moon Market and Neelam block, Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore and used to purify bacterial cultures by growing on simple N-agar medium. Biochemical characterization was performed by different tests including gram staining, catalase, mannitol salt agar, glucose and fructose fermentation and nitrate reduction. Bacterial strains were further subjected to additional tests like HCN, H2S production, metal resistance and antibiotic sensitivity.

Results: Nineteen bacterial strains were found positive for different tests and were characterized as Bacillus sp, Staphylococcus aureus, Micrococcus varians, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus saprophyticus. Many bacterial strains were resistant to antibiotics and high doses of most metals specially mercury. 

Conclusion: Due to the use of high doses of mercury for the storage of fruits, microorganisms have evolved resistance. It is an urgent need to take alternative measures for the storage of fruits for the safe lives.

Keywords: Metal resistance; Antibiotic resistance; Fruit preservation; Staphylococcus sp. 

Full Text:



Liu RH. Health-promoting components of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, (2013); 4(3): 384S-392S.

Miller MG, Thangthaeng N, Poulose SM, Shukitt-Hale B. Role of fruits, nuts, and vegetables in maintaining cognitive health. Experimental gerontology, (2017); 94: 24-8.

Alvarez-Suarez JM, Mazzoni L, Forbes-Hernandez TY, Gasparrini M, Sabbadini S, et al. The effects of pre-harvest and post-harvest factors on the nutritional quality of strawberry fruits: A review. Journal of Berry Research, (2014); 4(1): 1-10.

Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, (2012); 3(4): 506-516.

Denis N, Zhang H, Leroux A, Trudel R, Bietlot H. Prevalence and trends of bacterial contamination in fresh fruits and vegetables sold at retail in Canada. Food Control, (2016); 67225-234.

Issa-Zacharia A, Kamitani Y, Muhimbula HS, Ndabikunze BK. A review of microbiological safety of fruits and vegetables and the introduction of electrolyzed water as an alternative to sodium hypochlorite solution. African Journal of Food Science, (2010); 4(13): 778-789.

Ghosh S, Ghosh S, Chaudhuri J, Gachhui R, Mandal A. Studies on mercury resistance in yeasts isolated from natural sources. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, (2004); 72(1): 21-28.

Martin S, Griswold W. Human health effects of heavy metals. Environ Sci Technol Brief Cit, (2009); 151-6.

Bernhoft RA. Mercury toxicity and treatment: A review of the literature. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, (2012); 121-10.

Séveno NA, Kallifidas D, Smalla K, van Elsas JD, Collard J-M, et al. Occurrence and reservoirs of antibiotic resistance genes in the environment. Reviews in medical microbiology, (2002); 13(1): 15-27.

Burt S. Essential oils: their antibacterial properties and potential applications in foods—a review. International journal of food microbiology, (2004); 94(3): 223-253.

McIntosh D, Cunningham M, Ji B, Fekete FA, Parry EM, et al. Transferable, multiple antibiotic and mercury resistance in Atlantic Canadian isolates of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida is associated with carriage of an IncA/C plasmid similar to the Salmonella enterica plasmid pSN254. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, (2008); 61(6): 1221-1228.

Cappuccino JG, Sherman N Microbiology: a laboratory manual. 2008; 9; Pearson/Benjamin Cummings Boston, MA.

Tariq A, Latif Z. Bioremediation of Mercury Compounds by using Immobilized Nitrogen-fixing Bacteria. International Journal of Agriculture & Biology, (2014); 16(6): 1129-1134.

Wargovich MJ. Anticancer properties of fruits and vegetables. HortScience, (2000); 35(4): 573-575.

Marwat SK, Khan MA, Khan MA, Ahmad M, Zafar M, et al. Fruit Plant Species Mentioned in the Holy Qura’n and Ahadith and Their Ethno medicinal Importance. Am Eurasian J Agric Environ Sci, (2009); 5(2): 284-295.

Gonzalez-Aguilar G, Robles-Sánchez R, Martínez-Téllez M, Olivas G, Alvarez-Parrilla E, et al. Bioactive compounds in fruits: health benefits and effect of storage conditions. Stewart Postharvest Review, (2008); 4(3): 1-10.

Linderholm AL, Findleton CL, Kumar G, Hong Y, Bisson LF. Identification of genes affecting hydrogen sulfide formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Applied and environmental microbiology, (2008); 74(5): 1418-1427.

Alamgir A, Fatima N, Khan MA, Shaukat SS. Microbiological assessment of streert vended fresh fruit juices available in the Karachi city. International Journal of Biology and Biotechnology, (2015); 12(3): 505-509.

Otto M. Staphylococcus epidermidis—the'accidental'pathogen. Nature Reviews Microbiology, (2009); 7(8): 555-567.



  • There are currently no refbacks.