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Shigella species are frequently associated with food and water borne infections leading to acute invasive enteric infections. Annually there are 165 million cases of shigellosis, of which 163 million are in developing countries and the incidence is highest among children. The study was aimed to isolate and identify Shigella species from food and water samples. The isolates were identified by using conventional biochemical tests. Total of 100 samples (50 ready-to-eat salad + 50 household water) were randomly collected aseptically. Out of 100 samples analyzed, 27 (27%) were found positive for Shigella species. Out of these 27 positive samples, 16 (32%) were from ready-to-eat salad samples and 11 (22%) were from water. Incidence of Shigella species in Quetta city water (28%) is higher as compared to water collected from outside the city which is (16%). Shigella flexneri was the most frequent isolate (70%) observed in this study. The high level of Shigella species prevalence was observed during the month of April-June. This study revealed that the use of raw animal manure as fertilizer, irrigation of vegetables with fecal contaminated water, a poor sanitary system and improper treatment of water supplies can increase potential risks to the consumer. Adaptation and application of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) can decrease the possibility of contamination and eliminate pathogenic microorganisms. Awareness regarding communicable diseases also helps control shigellosis and other diarrheal disease.
Keywords: Biochemical tests; Quetta; Salad; Shigella; Water