The anthropogenic load of antibiotics in Morogoro Municipality water bodies was estimated using the ELISA technique. Commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits that are commonly used for detection of tetracyclines, sulfonamides and quinolones residues in meat, milk, eggs and honey were adopted for analysis of these antibiotics in surface waters. Thirty three sampling points were selected, including two rivers, one dam and one wastewater treatment plant. Results showed that there were detectable levels of antibiotics and slight high levels were detected in the downstream rivers in close vicinity to high human activities. In river waters, the maximum mean concentrations detected were 7.74, 8.76 and 8.94µg/l quinolones, tetracyclines and sulfonamides respectively. At Mindu Dam water, mean concentrations were, 1.61, 4.84 and 3.65µg/l, quinolones, tetracyclines and sulfonamides respectively, while in wastewater treatment plant mean concentrations were, 31.55, 48.89 and 37.94µg/l quinolones, tetracyclines and sulfonamides respectively. The presence of antibiotics residues in Rivers, Mindu dam and Wastewater treatment plant poses risks to population to take the antibiotics at low doses. This can be through drinking water and consumption of crops produced through irrigation using water from these sources. This can lead to acceleration of antibiotic resistance through selection pressure.
Keywords: Antibiotics, ELSA, Water bodies, Tanzania