Isolation And Identification Of Escherichia Coli As An Indicator Of Faecal Pollution In Streams On Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U) Campus, Ile-ife, Osun State

Project and Seminar Material for Biochemistry

Isolation And Identification Of Escherichia Coli As An Indicator Of Faecal Pollution In Streams On Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U) Campus, Ile-ife, Osun State

Chapter One



Water is a natural resource and is essential to sustain life. Accessibility and availability of fresh clean water does not only play a crucial role in economic development and social welfare (Odonkorand Ampofo,2013) but also, it is an indispensable liquid. Many do not have access to safe and clean water and many die of waterborne bacterial infections.Hence, having it available in sufficient quantity and quality contributes to the maintenance of health (Nougang et al., 2011).According to WHO (2004), about 80% of all diseases and over one third of deaths in developing countries are caused by drinking contaminated water.

Water is essential to human life, for basic health and survival, as well as food production and economic activities. Presently, theworld is facing a global emergency in which over one billion people lack access to a basic supply of clean water and over 2billion do not have access to adequate sanitation which is the primary cause of waterborne disease (WHO, 2003).Water aids in digestion and is essential in almost all other body processes. It makes up more than two thirds of human body weight, and without water, there is no life. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is 82%, and lungs 90%.Water helps in maintaining the moisture of internal organs of the body, the normal volume and consistency of fluids such as blood and lymph as wellas in the regulation of body temperature, removal ofpoisons or toxins from the body through urine, sweat and breathing; and the regulation of the normal structure and functions of the skin. The body loses about four litres of water every day. It is therefore necessary to replenish this volume daily by drinking at least the equivalent amount of quality water. In developing countries with deteriorating environments, the demand for clean drinking water supply is growing rapidly in recent times(Odonkor and Ampofo,2013).

Most of the infections (like cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, poliomyelitis etc.) in developing countries can be attributed to lack of safe drinking water. This owing to the fact that water is obtained from various untreated sources, among which are streams, lakes, rivers, ponds, rain, springs and wells (Okonko et al., 2008). Large percentage of the population in developing countries are not adequately supplied with potable water and is thus compelled to use water from sources like shallow wel ls, boreholes, springs and streams that render the water unsafe for domestic and drinking purposes due to high possibilities of contamination (Welch et al., 2000; Jamielson et al., 2004; WHO, 2006). Faecal contamination of water is established by the presence of faecal organisms because they do not occur freely in nature. The presence of Escherichiacoli, Clostridiumperfringes and Streptococcusfaecalis in water is sufficient evidence that the water is not safe, since enteric pathogens are confirmed present (Ohanu et al., 2012).

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the study is to isolate and identify Escherichia coli as an indicator of faecal pollution in streams on Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U) campus, Ile-Ife, Osun state.

Objectives of the study

  • To isolate and identify Escherichia coli in O.A.U streams, Osun state, Nigeria.
  • To determine the antimicrobial susceptibility pattern of the strains in the samples analysed.

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Surface water pollution is an environmental problem that is of a major concern to us in Nigeria and the world at large. Human and animals’ contribution to water pollution is largely by way of defecating, disposal of refuse, religious activities and washing of clothes and farming implements.Escherichia coli is an inhabitant of the gastrointestinal tract of humans, therefore, its presence in water indicates the presence of other numerous pathogenic and non-pathogenic organisms posing a serious risk to health when consumed or used. Faecal pollution could lead to the transmission of pathogens and, therefore, to waterborne diseases. This faecal material can be originated from point source discharges such as raw sewage, storm water, effluent from wastewater treatment plants and industrial sources. In addition, non-point source discharges such as agriculture, forestry, wildlife and urban run-off can also impair water quality (Seurinck et al., 2005). If the origin of faecal contamination and pathogens could be correctly identified, management and remediation efforts should be allocated in a more-cost effective and efficient manner.

Water quality should be controlled in order to minimize acute problem of water related disease which are endemic to health of man. Therefore, an effective and thorough sanitary condition should be given to these water bodies in order to maintain a good water quality.

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