Environmental waters are established sources of Campylobacter infections in humans. The aim of this study was to assess the distribution and susceptibility profiles of Campylobacter species isolated from irrigation and domestic water sources in Ghana. Samples were pre-enriched with CCDA broth and isolated on mCCDA agar. Isolates were confirmed on API CAMPY kit and with the Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion method to determine the susceptibility patterns of species. Of the 188 water samples analyzed, 42 isolates were confirmed to be contaminated with Campylobacter species, giving a prevalence rate of 22.3%. Prevalence of Campylobacter in the various water sources were 35.7% in rivers, 26.2% in streams, 21.4% in wells, 9.5% in ponds and 7.1% in boreholes. Sixty four percent (64%) of Campylobacter species were Campylobacter jejuni, followed by Campylobacter coli (19%) and Campylobacter lari (14%). Resistance was 100% to the β-lactams, 98% to erythromycin, 48-69% to the quinolones, 45-55% to the aminoglycosides, 71% to trimethoprim sulphamethoxazole, 76% to tetracycline and 90% to chloramphenicol. All the isolates (100%) were multidrug resistant. The presence of multidrug resistant Campylobacter species in the different water sources sampled in this study may indicate a significant health risk to humans and animals.
Key words: Campylobacter, antibiotic resistance, water sources, Ghana.
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