In Ghana, especially the Northern Region, a significant proportion of the population rely on surface and other unimproved water sources. Consumption of water from such sources leads to the contraction of infectious diseases of public health importance, which accounts for high morbidity and mortality among children and adults. Previous works conducted in Ghana focused on isolation of Escherichia coli from surface waters. However, the genetic variability and antimicrobial resistance profile of Escherichia coli solates in Ghana remains unkown. The present study demonstrated genetic variability and antimicrobial profiles of E. coli isolated from 26 water sources from five districts in the northern Ghana region. Biochemical test was employed to confirm E.coli isolates, multiplex PCR was used to characterize the isolates, and disk diffusion methods was used to test for antimicrobial susceptibility. The study recorded 75% of the isolates as pathogenic and were categorized as ETEC, EPEC, VTEC, and EIEC. However, few of the pathogenic isolates remain uncharacterized. Testing of the susceptibility of the pathogenic isolates gainst WHO’s list of essential medicines revealed multiple drug resistance with some isolates being resistant to seven out of the eight tested antibiotics. This is alarming and raises serious public health concern. Sequencing the isolates would provide a useful information on the uncharacterized isolates and mechanism for the multidrug resistance.
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RUFORUM Working document series