Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiles among Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Athi River Water in Machakos County, Kenya


Antimicrobial use in agriculture, livestock and human health has increased over the years leading to the increase in antimicrobial resistance that can also find its way to the aquatic environment. Rivers can act as reservoirs of highly resistant strains and facilitate the dissemination of multidrug resistant (MDR) strains to animals and humans using water. A total of 318 water samples were collected from six different sampling points along Athi River and E. coli isolates were subjected to Kirby-Bauer diffusion method for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The total mean coliform count of the sampled sites was 2.7 × 104 (cfu/mL). E. coli isolates were most resistant to ampicillin (63.8%) and most susceptible to gentamicin (99.4%). MDR strains (resistance to ≥3 classes of antibiotics) accounted for 65.4% of all the isolates. The site recorded to have human industrial and agricultural zone activities had strains that were significantly more resistant to ampicillin, cefoxitin, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (P ≤ 0.05) than isolates from the section of the river traversing virgin land and land with minimum human activities. This study indicates that E. coli strains isolated from Athi River were highly MDR and most resistant to some antimicrobial classes (ampicillin and cefoxitin) which constitute a potential risk to human and animal health.

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Wambugu, P. , Habtu, M. , Impwi, P. , Matiru, V. and Kiiru, J. (2015) Antimicrobial Susceptibility Profiles among Escherichia coli Strains Isolated from Athi River Water in Machakos County, Kenya. Advances in Microbiology, 5, 711-719. doi: 10.4236/aim.2015.510074.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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