Screening for Escherichia coli 0157:H7 in diarrhoeal patients in Benin, Nigeria.

Original article


Esumeh F, Jonathan Isibor J, Egbagbe I

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Nigeria.

JMJ 2009;9(4):291-293


Escherichia coli 0157:H7 is an emerging disease pathogen whose occurrences have been reported in several parts of the world including Nigeria. Factors which predispose humans to infection with the organism abound in Benin, a cosmopolitan and highly populated city in Nigeria. This fact prompted this prevalence study among 50 hospital patients who reported with diarrhoeal symptoms. Stool specimens collected from patients were inoculated onto MacConkey and Sorbitol MacConkey agar (supplemented with Cefixime-tellurite medium – Oxoid), incubated overnight at 37oC. Bacterial colonies were identified using standard bacteriological procedures. Sorbitol negative Esch coli colonies were confirmed serologically using the 0157:H7 Latex agglutination kit (Oxoid DR 620). 23 (46%) of the 50 specimens yielded Esch coli. Out of these 11 (48%) were sorbitol positive while 12 (52%) did not ferment sorbitol. As shown from this study, the prevalence rate of 20% was recorded for Esch coli 0157:H7. The presence of enterohaemorhagic Esch coli 0157:H7 in Benin is no longer in doubt. We advocate that a more intense and well planned public enlightenment be mounted by our sanitary health officials, while cases of gastroenteritis with bloody or non-bloody diarrhea be properly investigated.

Keywords: Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Diarrheic Patients, Benin , Nigeria