Isolation and characterization of Escherichia colipathotypes and factors associated with well and boreholes water contamination in Mombasa County

  • Thani Suleiman Thani
  • Samwel Morris Lifumo Symekher
  • Hamadi Boga
  • Joseph Oundo


Introduction: Safe water for human consumption is important, but there is a limited supply. Mombasa County has water shortages making residences rely on other sources of water including boreholes and wells. Microbiological evaluation of drinking water is important to reduce exposure to water borne enteric diseases. This cross sectional study aimed at determining the frequency and characterization of Escherichia coli (E. coli) pathotypes from water samples collected from wells and boreholes in Mombasa County. Methods: One hundred and fifty seven (157) water samples were collected from four divisions of the county and a questionnaire administered. The samples were inoculated to double strength MacConkey broth and incubated at 370C for up to 48 hours. Positive results were compared to the 3 tube McCrady MPN table. The E. coli were confirmed by Eijkman's test and antibiotic susceptibility carried out. Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the E. coli were characterized to establish pathotypes. Results: One hundred and thirty one (n=131; 83.4%) samples had coliform bacteria with only 79 (60.3%) samples having E. coli. Significant values (<0.05) were noted when coliforms were compared to variables with E. Coli showing no significance when compared to similar variables. E. coli (n = 77; 100%) tested were sensitive to Gentamicin, while all (n = 77; 100%) isolates were resistant to Ampicillin. PCR typed isolates as enteroinvasive E. Coli (EIEC). Conclusion: Findings suggest that coliforms and E. coli are major contaminants of wells and boreholes in Mombasa County. The isolates have a variety of resistant and sensitivity patterns to commonly used antibiotics.

Pan African Medical Journal 2016; 23

Author Biographies

Thani Suleiman Thani
Field Epidemiology Training Program, Kenya
Samwel Morris Lifumo Symekher
Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
Hamadi Boga
Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya,
Joseph Oundo
Field Epidemiology Training Program, Kenya; Walter Reed Program, kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688