Jorge Francisco Cerna-Cortes, Carlos A. Gómez-Aldapa, Esmeralda Rangel-Vargas, M. del Refugio Torres-Vitela, Angélica Villarruel-López and Javier Castro-Rosas. 2012. Presence of some indicator bacteria and diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes on jalapeño and serrano peppers from popular markets in Pachuca city, Mexico. Food Microbiology. 32(2): 444-447.
The chili pepper is a very important crop in Mexico. Diarrheagenic E. coli pathotypes (DEPs) are important foodborne pathogens in different countries including Mexico. No data exists on DEPs presence on fresh jalapeño and serrano pepper and little data have been published on the microbiological quality of these peppers. The frequencies of coliform bacteria (CB), thermotolerant coliforms (TC), E. coli and DEPs were determined for jalapeño and serrano peppers. Of 100 serrano samples, CB, TC, E. coli and DEPs were identified in 100, 90, 58 and 36%, respectively. Of 100 jalapeño samples, CB, TC, E. coli and DEPs were identified in 100, 88, 38 and 14%, respectively. Identified DEPs included enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). STEC were isolated from 36% of serrano samples and 14% of jalapeño samples. ETEC were isolated from 12% of serrano samples and 2% of jalapeño samples. Both STEC and ETEC were identified in 14 serrano samples and 2 jalapeño samples. No E. coli O157:H7 were detected in any STEC-positive samples. Jalapeño and serrano peppers could be an important factor contributing to the endemicity of DEPs-caused gastroenteritis in Mexico.