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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Oct;25(28):28335-28343. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2860-y. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

Environmental surveillance for Vibrio cholerae in selected households' water storage systems in Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA) prior to the 2014 cholera outbreak in Accra, Ghana.

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Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
School of Public Health, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.


Cholera is a global public health problem with high endemicity in many developing countries in Africa. In 2014, Ghana experienced its largest epidemic with more than 20,000 cases and 200 deaths; most of it occurred in the Accra Metropolitan Area (AMA). Ghana's disease surveillance system is mainly clinically based and focused on case detection and management. Environmental exploration for the etiological agents is missing from the surveillance strategy. This study therefore assessed the occurrence of toxigenic Vibrio cholerae in water storage systems in selected high risk areas in the AMA area prior to the 2014 outbreak. Three hundred twenty water samples from 80 households' water storage systems were analyzed for toxigenic Vibrio cholerae using the bacterial culture method. Presumptive V. cholerae was isolated from 83.8% of households' water storage systems. The viable cells ranged from 1 to 1400 CFU/100 ml. Vibrio cholerae O1 serotype was isolated from five households in Old Fadama, one household in Shiabu, and one household in Bukom in the month of May and a similar trend was observed for the months of June and July. The presence of Vibro cholerae in the water storage vessels used for drinking confirms the need to consider environmental surveillance for toxigenic Vibro cholerae particularly in high-risk areas to strengthen the existing surveillance system.


Contamination; Domestic water safety; Enteric bacteria; Environment; Serotype; Urban

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