Determination of bacterial load and antibiotic susceptibility testing of bacteria isolated from students’ toilets at Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania

Augustino Chengula, Asha Lushino, Joel Mbise, Alexanda Mzula, Eliakunda Mafie, Elisa Mwega, Isaac Makundi, Emma Peter


The circulation of infectious diseases in the community settings in urban and rural areas remains to be a hectic problem. One of the sources of microbial diseases is toilets. This study aimed at isolating, identifying and establishing bacterial loads associated with public restrooms in students’ hostels at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. Samples were collected from a total of thirty toilets (60 samples) in different surfaces; (i) surfaces associated with toilets (toilet seats and toilet bowls), (ii) surfaces routinely touched with hands (door handles in and out of the restrooms, faucet handles and toilet flush handles) and (iii) the restroom floors. Samples were inoculated in MacConkey and Blood agar and then incubated at 37oC for 24 hours. All isolates were sub cultured and identified based on macro- and micro-morphology and Standard Biochemical Tests. The establishment of total bacteria load was done using Standard Plate Count Method. The sensitivity testing of the isolates were carried out using the Disk Diffusion Method on nutrient agar plate. The following bacteria genera and species were isolated from the students’ toilets; Staphylococcus aureus (25.0%), Escherichia coli (36.7%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (13.3%), Streptococcus pyogenes (6.7%), Proteus mirabilis (6.7%) and Klebsiella pneumonia (11.6%). The results from total bacterial count indicated that the surfaces routinely touched with hands had highest bacteria load compared to restroom floor and toilet seats. However, the differences of means among the surfaces were not statistically significant (P= 0.6762).  Sensitivity testing of the isolates against commonly used antibiotics in the study area showed that all bacterial isolates tested were resistant and intermediate resistant to at least one antibiotic.

Keywords: Pathogenic bacteria, Students’ hostels, bacteria count, antibiotic susceptibility testing.

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