Microbial community analysis of drinking water sources from rural areas of Zimbabwe


Zvidzai C.*, Mukutirwa T., Mundembe R. and Sithole-Niang I.

Traditional methods employing selective, differential and non-selective media were used to isolate and identify different species of bacteria from rural drinking water reservoirs of Mount Darwin district of Zimbabwe. The colony counts from non-selective nutrient agar plates gave an indication of the overall level of bacterial activity from each water sample. Open deep wells, shallow wells and rivers were found to be the most heavily contaminated water sources. Borehole water sources had very low total microbial loads and absent in some of the water samples. The prevalent bacteria found were the Gram negative Escherichia coli, Shigella, Salmonella, Enterobacter aerogenes and one cocci species that was not further characterized. The presence of faecal pathogenic species in the river water and open wells poses epidemiological cases of diarrhoeal diseases in the district studied.

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