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Journal of Pathogens
Volume 2014, Article ID 371208, 11 pages
Research Article

Isolation of Environmental Bacteria from Surface and Drinking Water in Mafikeng, South Africa, and Characterization Using Their Antibiotic Resistance Profiles

1Department of Water and Sanitation, University of Limpopo, Turfloop Campus, Private Bag X 1106, Sovenga 0727, South Africa
2School of Biological Science, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, Private Bag X 6001, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa
3Department of Biological Sciences, School of Environmental and Health Sciences, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa

Received 15 January 2014; Revised 22 May 2014; Accepted 16 June 2014; Published 6 July 2014

Academic Editor: Mariela A. Segura

Copyright © 2014 Suma George Mulamattathil et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to isolate and identify environmental bacteria from various raw water sources as well as the drinking water distributions system in Mafikeng, South Africa, and to determine their antibiotic resistance profiles. Water samples from five different sites (raw and drinking water) were analysed for the presence of faecal indicator bacteria as well as Aeromonas and Pseudomonas species. Faecal and total coliforms were detected in summer in the treated water samples from the Modimola dam and in the mixed water samples, with Pseudomonas spp. being the most prevalent organism. The most prevalent multiple antibiotic resistance phenotype observed was KF-AP-C-E-OT-K-TM-A. All organisms tested were resistant to erythromycin, trimethoprim, and amoxicillin. All isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin and faecal coliforms and Pseudomonas spp. to neomycin and streptomycin. Cluster analysis based on inhibition zone diameter data suggests that the isolates had similar chemical exposure histories. Isolates were identified using gyrB, toxA, ecfX, aerA, and hylH gene fragments and gyrB, ecfX, and hylH fragments were amplified. These results demonstrate that (i) the drinking water from Mafikeng contains various bacterial species and at times faecal and total coliforms. (ii) The various bacteria are resistant to various classes of antibiotics.