Verocytotoxic diarrhogenic bacteria and food and water contamination in developing countries: a challenge to the scientific and health community

23 Nov 2020

Water related issues such as water treatment and distribution have become extremely important all over the world due to population growth, growing urbanization, health and environmental pollutions. Majority of drinking water sources in Africa are still the traditional ones including dams, wells, rivers, streams and ponds which might harbor or are prone to contamination with water-borne and vector born disease agents that introduce various toxins most importantly verocytotoxins into the water bodies. These toxins are responsible for various health problems including diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis (HC), hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). These conditions often present difficult chemotherapeutic control measures due to physiological complexity development of antimicrobial resistance among the pathogens. Poverty, inadequate portable water supply, unhygienic environments such as slums and refugee camps are predisposing factors abundant in developing countries. There is therefore the need to investigate water bodies for the prevalence of these toxin producing bacteria and their antimicrobial resistance profiles. Medicinal plant sources with potential efficacy in controlling these bacteria should also be investigated with a view to influencing policy and chemotherapy direction for effective control measures.