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Laboratory Study of Vibrio cholerae O1 Survival on Three Types of Boiled Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Held at Room Temperature

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This study examined whether the survival of Vibrio cholerae O1 on contaminated cooked rice was influenced by the type of rice. Vibrios survived unchanged on clumps of glutinous white rice (wet, grains adhered) held at room temperature for 24 h. On nonglutinous white rice (slightly moist, grains separate), 30% viable vibrios remained at 24 h. On nonglutinous brown rice (moist, separate, covered with a mucus-like substance), the number of vibrios increased 2.7-fold at 24 h. Survival rates of vibrios on the surfaces of a row of five cooked rice grains after 2 h of exposure at room temperature were 86, 29, 12, and 4% for glutinous rice, white rice, and the endosperm and pericarp of brown rice, respectively. (Each boiled brown rice grain surface was partly pericarp and partly endosperm, which became exposed by a rupture of the pericarp.) Covering each inoculated grain with a similar cooked rice grain surface increased the corresponding figures to 93, 99, 60, and 94%. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that each type of cooked grain surface possessed a distinct microtopography. For example, the surfaces of glutinous rice grains consisted of separated overlapping strips with many holes, while the pericarps of brown rice were flat interspersed with small pits. In conclusion, each type of boiled rice produced a distinct survival pattern of V. cholerae O1 caused by both the distinct gross features and the fine surface characteristics of the rice. The significance of this finding is that the type of rice consumed can be a factor in cholera transmission by contaminated rice.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biomedical Science Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Publication date: December 1, 2008

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