Characterization and antibiotic susceptibility profiles of pathogenic escherichia coli isolated from diarrhea samples within the Buffalo city metropolitan municipality, eastern Cape, South Africa

Nwabisa Azisa Mkuhlu, Iweriebor Benson Chuks*, Obi Larry Chikwelu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: Developing countries like South Africa are still faced with numerous challenges such as poor environmental sanitation, lack of clean drinking water and inadequate hygiene which have contributed largely to diarrheal infections and deaths in children. This study was aimed at investigating the prevalence of pathotypes, antimicrobial resistance and drug resistance determinants among Escherichia coli (E. coli) isolates from diarrhea stool samples within Buffalo City Municipality, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Methods: Fresh diarrheal stool samples were collected from 140 patients attending public health centres within the Municipality and presumptive E. coli isolates were obtained from the stool samples using E. coli chromogenic agar while PCR amplification methods were used to confirm the presumptive isolates as well as delineate them into pathotypes based on the presence of certain virulence genes. In addition, antimicrobial susceptibility and screening of some of the antimicrobial resistant determinants were performed on all the confirmed isolates. Results: A total of 394 presumptive E. coli isolates from 140 diarrhea stool samples were subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification, of which 265 were confirmed positive as E. coli. Pathotypes delineation of the positive E. coli isolates validated the presence of ETEC 106 (40%), EAEC 48 (18%), DAEC 37 (14%), and EPEC 31 (11%) while no EIEC pathotype was detected. All E. coli isolates exhibited maximum susceptibility to gentamicin (95%), amikacin (91%), nitrofurantoin (91%), meropenem (90%), chloramphenicol (91%) norfloxacin (84%) and imipenem (83%). However, the isolates showed multidrug resistance to penicillin G, ampicillin, trimethoprim, tetracycline, doxycycline, and erythromycin, with over 71% of the isolates resistant to the drugs. The prevalence and distribution of the five resistance determinants assessed were as follow; sulphonamides; sulII (12%), beta lactams; [ampC (22%);blaTEM, (25%)], and tetracyclines (tetA (35%). Conclusion: The results from this study suggest the probable involvement of E. coli pathotypes as an etiologic agent of diarrhea in the study area and revealed high levels of multidrug resistance among the isolates, which could be a major health burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-330
Number of pages10
JournalOpen Microbiology Journal
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Ampicillin
  • Antibiotic resistance
  • Diarrhea
  • Doxycycline
  • E.coli
  • Erythromycin
  • Pathotypes
  • Penicillin G
  • South Africa
  • Tetracycline
  • Trimethoprim

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