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The Burden of Poor Household Drinking-Water Quality on HIV/AIDS Infected Individuals in Rural Communities of Ugu District Municipality, Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa

Author(s): CMN Khabo-Mmekoa, MNB Momba

The aim of this study was to ascertain whether household container-stored drinking water might play a role in the diarrhoeic conditions of HIV/AIDS patients and non-HIV-infected individuals of the rural communities who attended the Ugu District Municipal hospitals. Water samples were collected from the standpipes and household containers, and stool specimens were obtained from HIV/AIDS-positive and non-HIV/AIDS patients with diarrhoea. Significant correlations were established between the incidence of potentially pathogenic bacteria isolated from chlorinated household-stored water, and in stool specimens of HIV-positive patients with diarrhoea (P < 0.05). A combination of molecular analysis targeting the 16S rRNA gene and the restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequence analysis of the amplified gene for differentiating between species and strains of the bacterial pathogens was also applied to isolates obtained from stored-water samples and stool specimens. Similar sequences affiliated with Klebsiella spp., K. pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, E. coli O55: H7, Proteus mirabilis, and Shigella boydii were identified in both stored water and stools of HIV/AIDS-positive patients with diarrhoea. With the exception of Proteus mirabilis, none of these sequences were identified in stool specimens of non-HIV-infected individuals with diarrhoea.

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