Journal of the Nigerian Infection Control Association

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Investigation of Different Water Sources as a Possible Cause of Cholera Outbreak in Lagos in 1997

I. N. Idika, RA Audu, KS Oyedeji, R Iyanda, C. A. Egbom


Cholera still remains one of the major causes of high morbidity and mortality in developing countries. In Nigeria this has been attributed to poor health management response to outbreaks. So during a cholera outbreak in Lagos state in October 1997, water samples were examined to identify the epidemic strain and determine the antibiotic susceptibility patterns of any Vibrio cholerae isolated.

Twenty-four water samples from various sources (wells, taps, boreholes and packaged water) from the affected areas were processed using alkaline peptone water and thiosulphate citrate bile salt agar. Various biochemical and serological tests were used for identification.

Vibrio cholerae, 01 serogroup, Ogawa serotype and EI-Tor biotype was isolated from 20.8% of the water samples tested. These isolates showed multiple resistance to antibiotics particularly tetracycline but were susceptible to the cephalosporins. Eleven other water samples (45.8%) showed growth of Enterococcus faecalis while two others (8.3%) grew diptheroids. Samples from Ikeja area (control) showed no bacterial growth.

This study isolated a V. cholerae that was the same as the strain reported in previous cholera outbreaks in Nigeria. Isolation of other faecal bacteria suggests faecal pollution of water sources in the areas studied.

[J. of the Nig. Infection Control Assn. Vol.3(2) 2000: 6-8]
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