Assessing bacterial safety and quality of drinking water served to students in selected schools around Makerere University
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The aim of the present study was to assess the bacterial quality and antibiotic susceptibility patterns of bacteria in water provided to students in selected schools around Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. A cross-sectional study was employed and 50 water samples were collected from 5schoolswhich included one primary school coded “D” and four secondary schools coded “A”,”B”, “C” and “E”. The samples were evaluated for bacterial quality following Standard Operating Procedures. Bacteria were isolated and identified by their colony characteristics on the respective selective media.The bacterial load was determined by Surface spreading technique on Plate count agar (PCA).Total viable load, Total coliforms (TC) andE. Coli load were enumerated. AMR was determined by Kirby Bauer disk diffusion method on Mueller Hinton Agar. Water quality standards from UNBS were used to interpret the bacterial loads and the standard ranges from the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI, 2016) were used for susceptibility tests. The results showed that 52% of the samples contained E. coli, and other coliforms. Other bacteria included Salmonella spp, S. aureus, Streptococcus spp, and P. aureginosa in 2%, 4%, 8% and 14% of the samples respectively.There was 100% resistance to ampicillin for salmonella typhi. The presence of E.coli indicated fecal contamination by animal and/or human, on the other hand, other Coliform bacteria were present in water which are usually introduced by the environment. These isolates pose a health risk if they reach the human system. The samples collected showed a high Total viable load (>10CFU/100ml), which suggests that further investigation is needed to examine the sources of contamination to the storage tanks. The results of this study indicated that the water is highly contaminated and unsafe for consumption. Therefore, efforts to improve water quality should be put in place.