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Antibiotic Resistant Diarrheagenic Bacterial Species from Surface Waters

Occurrence and Distribution of Antibiotic Resistant Diarrheagenic Bacterial Species from Surface Waters in Afikpo, Ebonyi State.


This project was carried out to access the occurrence and distribution of antibiotics resistance diarrheagenic bacteria species in surface water in Afikpo-North Ebonyi State with the objective of isolating, characterizing and determining the frequency of occurrence of the bacteria species in water. This was done by collecting different water sample from three different stream namely Ohino-Ngodo, Ngogwo and Okpu. It was further analyzed at the Applied Microbiology Laboratory Ebonyi State University to determine the following: isolation of organism using membrane filter, the isolates were subjected to further morphological, biochemical test, antimicrobial susceptibility test and multiple antibiotic resistance index. The following results were obtained; for the prevalence of isolates, E. coli and Staphylococcus (CNS and aureus) had the highest percentage occurrence (23.07%), Klebsiellaspp had (15.38%) while Shigellaspp and Enterobacterspp had (11.53%)each, Pseudomonasspp had (7.69%) while Salmonella spp and Streptococcus spp had the least percentage occurence(3.84%). The antibiotic susceptibility pattern of bacteria reveals that large proportion of isolates were resistance to sulphamethaxoid (SUL), cephalothin (CEP), tetracycline (TET), penicillin G (PEN), oxytetracycline (OXY),  cefotaxim (CEF), nalidixic acid (NAl) andcefuroxime sodium (CXM).All the isolates were to susceptible to azithromycin (AZM) and imipenen (IPM). The result reveals multiple antibiotic resistance index were found to be more prominent among isolates, the highest MARI value 0.75 was calculated from Salmonella spp, while Staphylococci had the least MARI value of 0.438. Finally, there should be a proper programme, to monitor antimicrobial usage and resistance in bacteria from surface and drinking water in this study area.



   Water is considered a vehicle for the propagation and distribution of human associated bacteria (Faria et al., 2009). Safe drinking water is fundamental right and if contaminated with opportunistic pathogenic environmental bacteria, it may have health implication. (WHO, 2004). Human health should be protected by preventing microbial contamination of water that is intended for consumption (Vodker et al., 2010). In rural communities, untreated surface water from rivers, dams and stream is directly used for drinking and other domestic purposes (Biyela et al., 2004). These unprotected surface water can be contaminated with microbes through rainfall, runoff and agricultural input, mixing with sewage effluent and feces from wide life (Sharma et al., 2005), which render them unacceptable for human consumption.

Storms event result in mobilization and transport of fecal contaminants from various point sources and non-point source in particular animal fecal receiving from water bodies. The presence of fecal contamination can lead to the degradation of water quality and subsequently results in the water becoming unfit for portable and non portable uses, agriculture and recreational activities such as swimming and fishing (Hamilton et al., 2010; Ishii et al., 2007).

Antibiotics are a class of naturally-occurring, semi-synthetic and/or chemically synthesized compounds with antimicrobial activity. They are widely used in human and veterinary medicine to treat and prevent diseases and as growth promoters in animal intensive industries. The increasing incidence of resistance to a wide range of antibiotics by microorganisms is a major concern facing modern medicine. Clinical infections, disease and death caused by resistant bacteria are increasingly common. We know for a fact that antibiotic resistance can be established and propagated in human and animal digestive systems (Chopra and Roberts, 2001; Launay et al., 2004). The proliferation of resistant strains within the gastrointestinal track is facilitated by the co-occurrence of high concentrations of bacteria and sub-lethal doses of antibiotics. However, there is some conjecture and speculation about other environments, such as sewage treatment plants (STPs) (Kim et al., 2007) and aquatic environments in general (Iwane et al., 2001), which provide conducive conditions for the establishment and propagation of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Since the late 1990s, several classes of antibiotics have been reported in sewage and STPs including β-lactams, sulfonamides, trimethoprim, macrolides, fluoroquinolones and tetracyclines (Cha et al., 2006; Gobel et al., 2007).

Diarrheal diseases are a global public health problem, causing significant morbidity and mortality among infants and children under five years old particularly in the developing countries. Approximately 2.6 million deaths occur each year, especially among children (Bryce et al., 2005). Person to person transmission by direct or indirect contact, consumption of contaminated foods, drinking sewage-contaminated water and unpasteurized juice are the most modes of obtaining the infections. Many cases are not identified, because of, they are minor and self-limiting, in which the patient does not seek medical care, or because, particularly in developing countries, the medical and laboratory resources are not accessible (Toma et al., 2003). Despite the various accessibility microbiological test, approximately half of the cases of diarrhea have no clear etiology, which confuses the application of strategies for mapping and monitoring endemic regions of the incidence of such pathogens (Garcia et al., 2011). Escherichia coli (E. coli) is one of the most significant etiological agent of acute diarrhea in Iran (Alikhani et al., 2007) and other developing countries (Nweze, 2010).

In view of the prevailing problem of portable water in Afikpo, the study was investigated to sample some of the surface water used by the population for domestic and drinking purpose.

1.1 Aim

The aim of the study is to determine the occurrence and distribution of antibiotic resistant diarrheagenic bacterial species from surface waters in Afikpo, Ebonyi State.

1.2 Objectives:

The specific objectives are:

  • To isolate antibiotic resistant diarrheagenic bacterial species from  surface water.
  • To characterize and identify the antibiotic resistant diarrheagenic bacterial species from  surface water.
  • To determine the frequency and occurrence of the bacterial species from surface waters in Afikpo .
  • To determine the antimicrobial resistant profile of the isolated strains.
  • To determine multiple antibiotics resistance indices of the study area.



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