This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of multiple antibiotic-resistant faecal indicator bacteria in streams and wells which serve as major sources of water for inhabitants of Ile-Ife City in Southwestern Nigeria. Water samples from 2 streams and 10 wells situated at different parts of the city were collected over a 6-month period. The total heterotrophic bacteria, faecal coliform and enterococci counts were performed using standard procedures, and the sensitivity of the isolates to antibiotics was tested. The study indicated high faecal indicator concentrations exceeding quality standards for drinking and recreational waters according to World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). All the faecal coliforms and enterococci isolates presented multiple antibiotic resistances. The water sources pose a threat to human health due to the danger of waterborne diseases and potential for the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes to pathogens. Effective public health education aimed at creating awareness of the implications of consumption of contaminated and untreated water is imperative. Antibiotics should only be administered based on physicians’ prescription.
Key words: Antibiotic resistance, faecal indicator bacteria, Southwestern Nigeria, stream water, waterborne diseases, well water.
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