Exploring the Prevalence of Microorganisms in Selected Water Sources in Benue South of Nigeria using Selected Environmental Factors and Microbial Counts

Augustine O. Edegbene *

Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.

Doowuese Yandev

Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.

Temidayo O. Omotehinwa

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.

Hajara Zakari

Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.

Blessing O. Andy

Department of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.

John A. Ujoh

Department of Microbiology, Federal University of Health Sciences Otukpo, Benue State, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


In this study, we assessed the water and microbial qualities of major water sources in nine sites within three Local Government Areas (LGAs-Otukpo, Ohimini and Apa LGAs) in Benue South between January and March, 2023. Water samples were collected monthly for the analyses of selected physico-chemical variables and microbial constituents in the studied sites following standard procedures.  The results of the physico-chemical variables showed that most of the variables were proportionately higher than the maximum standards by appropriate regulatory bodies. For instance, electrical conductivity (EC) was highest in S2-Upu borehole, Otukpo LGA (1,181+285 µS/cm) and lowest in S4-Okpokwu River, Ohimini LGA (19.35+6.35 µS/cm). The concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) in all the sites showed less aerated water except for S2 (5.37+0.34 mg/l) and 5S-Awulema borehole, Ohimini LGA (5.06+0.14 mg/l). On the microbial quality, the results of the total coliform counts from the nine sampling sites (water sources) showed that the highest coliform count (>1,600 MPN/100mL) was recorded in S1 in January 2023 while the lowest coliform count (12 MPN/100mL) was recorded in S2. The total bacteria viable counts (TVC) detected in the water sources sampled in the three LGAs in showed that the highest bacteria count (204 cfu per mL) was recorded in S3-Depot well, Otukpo LGA in January 2023, and the lowest bacteria count (36 cfu per mL) was recorded in S2 in January 2023. Escherichia coli was the most prevalent bacteria as it occurred in all the sites sampled except S6- Ijami well, Ohimini LGA and S9- Amoke well, Apa LGA. Our finding based on the concentration of pollution indicating physico-chemical variables (e.g., EC, BOD5, and COD) showed the water sources studied in the three LGAs in Benue South were relatively perturbed. This was also confirmed by the prevalence of microbial loads which in most cases exceeded the minimum standard set by WHO for drinking water.

Keywords: Microbial quality, water sources, Benue South, Nigeria

How to Cite

Edegbene, Augustine O., Doowuese Yandev, Temidayo O. Omotehinwa, Hajara Zakari, Blessing O. Andy, and John A. Ujoh. 2024. “Exploring the Prevalence of Microorganisms in Selected Water Sources in Benue South of Nigeria Using Selected Environmental Factors and Microbial Counts”. International Journal of Pathogen Research 13 (3):36-45. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijpr/2024/v13i3284.


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