Antimicrobial resistance of Escherichia coli found in intestinal tract of Oreochromis niloticus

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H. Kikomeko


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an emerging public health problem worldwide. Agricultural
practices have been suggested as one of the main contributors to the emergence and
transmission of AMR worldwide. Aquatic animals like fish have an important role to play in
the emergence and transmission of AMR strains. Escherichia coli is commensal in
gastrointestinal tracts of many animals including fish, and is an indicator organism and
opportunistic pathogen. It has been listed as one of the important bacteria involved in the
emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance factors. The objective of this study was to
investigate the AMR patterns of E. coli isolated from the intestinal tract of fish within the
Lake Victoria basin. A total of 60 Oreochromis niloticus fish were sampled from cages, wild
and earthen ponds. Distal gastrointestinal tract was recovered, crushed and streaked on violet
red bile agar, incubated at 37 OC for 24 hours. The isolates confirmed biochemically as E. coli
were screened for antibiotic susceptibility against 10 commonly used antibiotics using disc
diffusion method. Eighty three percent of the sampled fish were positive forE. coli. Generally,
isolates were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin, cephalexin, ceftriaxone and
nitrofurantoin (100%); tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (81.8%) and nalidixic
acid (72.7%). However, most of them were resistant to ampicillin and erythromycin (72.7%).
The results show that fish are reservoirs of E. coli, which is resistant to some antibiotics. The
factors responsible for the observed resistance patterns need to be followed up with more
research. Good aquaculture practices, surveillance and monitoring of resistant bacteria will
help in understanding the problem of AMR

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How to Cite
Kikomeko, H. . (2016). Antimicrobial resistance of Escherichia coli found in intestinal tract of Oreochromis niloticus. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 17(2), 157–164. Retrieved from