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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(5), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15050892

Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogenic Escherichia Coli Isolated from Rooftop Rainwater-Harvesting Tanks in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

1
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Natural Resources and the Environment, P.O. Box 395, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Antimicrobial Research Unit, College of Health Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa
3
Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry Division, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
4
Department of Biotechnology, University of Johannesburg, 37 Nind Street, Doornfontein 2094, South Africa
5
Water Research Commission, Lynnwood Bridge Office Park, Bloukrans Building, 4 Daventry Street, Lynnwood Manor, Pretoria 0081, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 27 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobials and Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment)
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Abstract

Although many developing countries use harvested rainwater (HRW) for drinking and other household purposes, its quality is seldom monitored. Continuous assessment of the microbial quality of HRW would ensure the safety of users of such water. The current study investigated the prevalence of pathogenic Escherichia coli strains and their antimicrobial resistance patterns in HRW tanks in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Rainwater samples were collected weekly between June and September 2016 from 11 tanks in various areas of the province. Enumeration of E. coli was performed using the Colilert®18/Quanti-Tray® 2000 method. E. coli isolates were obtained and screened for their virulence potentials using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and subsequently tested for antibiotic resistance using the disc-diffusion method against 11 antibiotics. The pathotype most detected was the neonatal meningitis E. coli (NMEC) (ibeA 28%) while pathotype enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC) was not detected. The highest resistance of the E. coli isolates was observed against Cephalothin (76%). All tested pathotypes were susceptible to Gentamicin, and 52% demonstrated multiple-antibiotic resistance (MAR). The results of the current study are of public health concern since the use of untreated harvested rainwater for potable purposes may pose a risk of transmission of pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance; pathogenic E. coli; harvested rainwater; public health; Sub-Saharan Africa; alternative water source antimicrobial resistance; pathogenic E. coli; harvested rainwater; public health; Sub-Saharan Africa; alternative water source
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Malema, M.S.; Abia, A.L.K.; Tandlich, R.; Zuma, B.; Mwenge Kahinda, J.-M.; Ubomba-Jaswa, E. Antibiotic-Resistant Pathogenic Escherichia Coli Isolated from Rooftop Rainwater-Harvesting Tanks in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 892.

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