Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 28, pp 28335–28343 | Cite as

Environmental surveillance for Vibrio cholerae in selected households’ water storage systems in Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) prior to the 2014 cholera outbreak in Accra, Ghana

  • Dzidzo Regina Yirenya-Tawiah
  • Ama Darkwa
  • Mawuli Dzodzomenyo
Research Article


Cholera is a global public health problem with high endemicity in many developing countries in Africa. In 2014, Ghana experienced its largest epidemic with more than 20,000 cases and 200 deaths; most of it occurred in the Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA). Ghana’s disease surveillance system is mainly clinically based and focused on case detection and management. Environmental exploration for the etiological agents is missing from the surveillance strategy. This study therefore assessed the occurrence of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae in water storage systems in selected high risk areas in the AMA area prior to the 2014 outbreak. Three hundred twenty water samples from 80 households’ water storage systems were analyzed for toxigenic Vibrio cholerae using the bacterial culture method. Presumptive V. cholerae was isolated from 83.8% of households’ water storage systems. The viable cells ranged from 1 to 1400 CFU/100 ml. Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype was isolated from five households in Old Fadama, one household in Shiabu, and one household in Bukom in the month of May and a similar trend was observed for the months of June and July. The presence of Vibro cholerae in the water storage vessels used for drinking confirms the need to consider environmental surveillance for toxigenic Vibro cholerae particularly in high-risk areas to strengthen the existing surveillance system.


Domestic water safety Enteric bacteria Urban Serotype Environment Contamination 



We wish to acknowledge the contributions of Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Dr. Kelly Baker of Emory University, Atlanta, USA, and the Sanipath team of WRI, Mr. Selorm Borbor for all the help during the laboratory analysis. Also acknowledged is Mr. Gideon Tetteh of the Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) for helping with the statistical analysis. We acknowledge the Writeshop organised by BANGA Africa Project through the University of Ghana.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environment and Sanitation StudiesUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of GhanaAccraGhana

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