Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 14, pp 10969–10980 | Cite as

Multiple antibiotic resistance indexing of Escherichia coli to identify high-risk sources of faecal contamination of water

  • Yinka TitilawoEmail author
  • Timothy Sibanda
  • Larry Obi
  • Anthony Okoh
Research Article


We evaluated the antibiogram profile of Escherichia coli (n = 300) isolated from selected rivers in Osun State, Nigeria. The identities of the E. coli isolates were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. Susceptibility of the isolates to 20 antibiotics conventionally used in clinical cases was assessed in vitro by the standardized agar disc-diffusion method. All the isolates were susceptible to imipenem, meropenem, amikacin and gatilofloxacin. The isolates were variously susceptible to the other antibiotics as follows: ciprofloxacin (96 %), kanamycin (95 %), neomycin (92 %), streptomycin (84 %), chloramphenicol (73 %), nalidixic acid (66 %), nitrofurantoin (64 %), gentamycin (63 %), doxycycline (58 %), cefepime (57 %), tetracycline (49 %) and cephalothin (42 %). The multiple antibiotic resistance indexing ranged from 0.50 to 0.80 for all the sampling locations and exceeded the threshold value of 0.2, suggesting the origin of the isolates to be of high antimicrobial usage. Our findings signify an increase in the incidence of antimicrobial resistance of E. coli towards conventionally used antibiotics necessitating proper surveillance programmes towards the monitoring of antimicrobial resistance determinants in water bodies.


Surface water Escherichia coli Phenotype Antibiotic resistance Multiple antibiotic resistance 



The authors express their gratitude to the Water Research Commission of South Africa for the grant K5/2145 which enabled access to facilities to complete this study. Yinka Titilawo is grateful to the University of Fort Hare for provision of doctoral bursary.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yinka Titilawo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Timothy Sibanda
    • 1
  • Larry Obi
    • 1
  • Anthony Okoh
    • 1
  1. 1.Applied and Environmental Microbiology Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and MicrobiologyUniversity of Fort HareAliceSouth Africa

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