Research Letters

Antibiotic resistance profiles of Escherichia coli isolated from different water sources in the Mmabatho locality, Northwest Province, South Africa

Constance N. Wose Kinge, C. Njie Ateba, D. Tonderai Kawadza
South African Journal of Science | Vol 106, No 1/2 | a14 | DOI: | © 2010 Constance N. Wose Kinge, C. Njie Ateba, D. Tonderai Kawadza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 January 2010 | Published: 18 March 2010

About the author(s)

Constance N. Wose Kinge, North-West University, South Africa
C. Njie Ateba, North-West University, South Africa
D. Tonderai Kawadza, North-West University, South Africa


The antibiotic resistance profiles of Escherichia coli (E. coli), isolated from different water sources in the Mmabatho locality were evaluated. Water samples were collected from the local wastewater- and water-treatment plants, the Modimola Dam and homes in the area, and then analysed for the presence of E. coli, using standard methods. Presumptive isolates obtained were confirmed by the analytical profile index test. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed by the disc diffusion method. Of the 230 E. coli isolates tested, marked antibiotic resistances (over 70%) were observed for erythromycin, tetracycline, ampicillin, chloramphenicol and norfloxacin. Multiple antibiotic resistance patterns were also compiled. Overall, the phenotype T-Ap-E was frequent for E. coli isolated from the local wastewater and water-treatment plants, Modimola Dam and tap water. Cluster analysis performed showed a unique antibiotic resistance pattern which suggested a link between isolates from all sampling points. The findings indicated that improper wastewater treatment may have a potential impact on the dissemination and survival of E. coli, as well as other pathogenic bacteria in water for human and animal consumption. This may result in water- and food-borne disease outbreaks with a negative effect on antibiotic therapy.


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