Prevalence and Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Biofilm-producing Escherichia coli Strains from Water Sources Around Major Slum in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria

Kpormon L. B. *

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Ogbonna, D. N. *

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Wemedo, S. A.

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Williams, J. O.

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Douglas I. S.

Department of Microbiology, Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, PMB 5080, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Slum is characterized by uncontrollable development around urban areas, with huge settlements from migrants from the rural areas for greener pastures. This situation is associated with increasing environmental problems predisposing the inhabitants to public health problems. This study was therefore aimed to assess the prevalence and resistance patterns of biofilm-producing E. coli strains in water sources around major slums in Port Harcourt city. A total of three hundred and sixty water samples including surface water (120), Borehole water (120) and well water (120) samples were collected from five different slums namely: Bundu, Egede, Enugu, Ibadan and Etche watersides over a period of twelve months. The water samples were processed and screened for the presence of E.  coli using standard microbiological techniques.  The isolates were subjected to biofilm production assays and antibiotic susceptibility testing. Results revealed that out of the 360 water samples, 291 (80.8%) were positive for Escherichia coli across the three water sources; 120 (100%) for surface water, 98(81%) for well water and 73(60%) for borehole water. Further analysis revealed that out of the 291 Escherichia coli isolates from the three water sources, 180(62%) were positive for biofilm production, 90(31%) showed moderate biofilm production while 21(7%) were non- biofilm producing strains. The antibiotic susceptibility testing showed that the biofilm-producing E. coli exhibited high levels of resistance to commonly used antibiotics, including Augmentine, Ceftazidime, Cefuroxime, and Cloxacillin. The percentage resistance of Escherichia coli isolated from water sources in Bundu, Egede, Enugu, Etche and Ibadan watersides, were 100% resistant to Ceftazidime (CAZ) and Cefuroxime (CRX) respectively. For Cloxacillin (CXM), Escherichia coli showed resistance for Enugu and Ibadan (82.5%), Etche and Egede (79.2%) and Bundu (66%). Whereas Escherichia coli isolated from Bundu, Enugu, and Ibadan watersides were 100% while those isolated from Egede, and Etche were 75% resistant to Augmentin. On the other hand, Escherichia coli from Etche and Egede watersides were both 8.3 and 15% resistant to Gentamycin. However, Escherichia coli was 100% susceptible to Nitrofurantoin, Ofloxacin and Ceftriaxone across the five slums. E. coli strains are usually described as indicator organisms which indicate faecal pollution.  The high prevalence of biofilm-producing E. coli and their resistance to multiple antibiotics suggest that the inhabitants are highly predisposed to the risk of water related and water-borne diseases and therefore need urgent intervention strategies to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these areas.

Keywords: Biofilm-producing, Escherichia coli, water sources, slums, antibiotic resistance pattern, public health risks, Port Harcourt city

How to Cite

Kpormon L. B., Ogbonna, D. N., Wemedo, S. A., Williams, J. O., and Douglas I. S. 2023. “Prevalence and Antibiotic Resistance Patterns of Biofilm-Producing Escherichia Coli Strains from Water Sources Around Major Slum in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria”. International Journal of Pathogen Research 12 (6):37-45.


Download data is not yet available.


Wokekoro E, Inyang MP. Waste disposal in low-income neighborhoods and its impact on health: The case study, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. JCPMI. 2007;10(63): 10-14.

Ogbonna DN, Ogbuku JO, Ngah SA, Ayotamuno A. Public Health Problems associated with informal Settlements around Waterfronts Communities in PortHarcourt, Nigeria. Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology; 2021.

Okafor C, Onyebuchi O, Nwadiogbu IA. Presence of multidrug resistant coliform bacteria isolated from biofilms of sachet water and bore hole water Abakaliki, Enbonyi State, Nigeria. International Journal of Scientific Research. 2005; 4(7):58-64.

Suma GM, Carlos B, Moses M. Biofilm formation in surface and drinking water distribution systems in Mafikeny, south Africa. South Africa Journal of Science. 2014;2(5):365-368.

Joanne MW, Linda MS, Christopher JW. Presscott's Microbiology (8th ed.). Singapore: Mc Graw - Hill International edition. 2011;12-15.

Lewis K. Riddle of biofilm resistance. Antimicrobial Agents Chemother. 2012;45: 999-1007.

Sunday OE, Hope CO, Eze SO. Bacteriological and physicochemical qualities of some borehole watersin Aba- south metropolis, Abia state, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences. 2014;3(3):84-91.

Onyedibia GC, Williams JO, Douglas SI. Antibiogram of biofilm producing bacteria isolated from urine of patients in Three Hospitals in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Microbiology Research Journal International. 2021;31(5).

Ogbonna DN, Idam DY. Appropriate Sanitations for Low-income coastal and waterfront communities in the Niger delta, Nigeria. Journal of Applied Sciences. 2007;7(8 ):1116-1123.

Kpormon LB, Douglas SI. Comparative ecotoxicological assay of e- waste (Phone Batteries) on Some Aquatic Micro Flora. Journal of Advances in Biology & Biotechnology. 2018;17(2):1-10.

Douglas SI, Longjohn IR. Microbiology and physiochemistry of bonny Rivers, Rivers State, Nigeria. Acta Scientific Microbiology. 2022;5(1):1-10.

Douglas SI, Williams JO, Onyedibia GC. Isolation of biofilm producing bacteria from stool samples and their Antibiogram. Microbiology and infectious Diseases. 2022;6(1):1-9.

Chigor VN, Umoh VJ, Smith SI, Igbinosa EO, Okoh AI. Multidrug resistance and plasmid patterns of Escherichia coli O157 and other E. coli isolated from diarrhoeal stools and surface waters from some selected sources in Zaria, Nigeria. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010;7(10): 3831–3841.

Idia UP, Omigie O, Tatfeng Y, Omorogbe FI, Aisabokhale F, Ugbodagah OP. Antimicrobial susceptibility and plasmid profiles of E. coli. Am J Sci. 2006;2(4): 70-76.

Ogbonna DN, Azuonwu TC. Plasmid profile and antibiotic resistance pattern of bacteria from abattoirs in Port Harcourt City, Nigeria. International Journal of Pathogen Research. 2019 Mar 9;2(2):1-1.

Alhaj N, Mariana NS, Raha AR, Ishak Z. Prevalence of antibiotic resistance among Escherichia coli from different sources in Malaysia. International Journal of Poultry Science. 2007;6(4):293-297

Nigeria standard for drinking water quality. Nigeria Industrial Standard, Approve by Standard Organization of Nigeria Governing Council. 2008;20(13): 15-19.

Okereke CH, Eze S, Sunday OE. Bacteriological and physicociahemical qualities of some borehole waters in Aba south metropolis, Abia state, Niger. Asian Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences. 2014;3(3):83-91.

Olaniran AO, Naicker K, Pillay B. Antibiotic resistance profiles of Escherichia coli isolates from river sources in Durban, South Africa, World J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2009;25:1743–1749.

Patoli AA, Patoli BB, aMehraj V. High prevalence of Multi drug resistance Escherichia coli in drinking water samples from Hyderabad, GJMS. 2010;8(1):23-26.

World Health Organization (WHO). WHO guidelines for drinking water quality (4th ed.); 2011. Available:

Ogbonna D, Inana M. Characterization and multiple antibiotic resistance of bacterial isolates associated with fish aquaculture in ponds and rivers in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Journal of Advances in Microbiology. 2018 Jun 1;10(4):1-4.