Antibiotics are very important in the fight against infectious disease caused by bacteria and other microbes for decades. Today microbes have developed ways to resist antimicrobial agents targeted at them. We sought to characterize and simultaneously detect virulence genes associated water-borne antibiotic resistant Escherichia coli, obtained from water sampled from ground and surface water sources. The Analytical Profile Index (API) was use for the identifications of Escherichia coli isolates. The Kirby-Bauer disk diffusion methods was employed for susceptibility testing. A DNA•STRIP molecular assay technology designed for detection of shiga toxin genes was used for the molecular characterization. Escherichia coli isolates showed a high (32.99%), resistance to penicillin, and was highly susceptible (93.8%) to nitrofurantoin. Escherichia coli was confirmed Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). None of the confirmed multidrug resistant Escherichia coli isolate had genes for stx1 and stx2. However, the eae intimin virulence gene was found on six percent (6%) of the multidrug resistant Escherichia coli isolates. We conclude that Escherichia coli has developed a very high resistance to the various antibiotics, Second, the Genotype EHEC test based on the DNA•STRIP technology used in this study has proved to be efficient and reliable in the molecular characterization of the multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli isolates. The DNA•STRIP Genotype EHEC technology test is therefore recommended for pathogenic E. coli detection and monitoring. There is also a need to revise strategies towards the multidrug resistance programme.
Keywords: DNA•STRIP Technology, Escherichia coli, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Drug resistance, Water Bourne.