Detection of bacterial load in drinking water samples by 16s rRNA ribotyping and RAPD analysis

Mariyam Zameer, Saleha Mahmood, Zubaria Mushtaq, Bushra Tabasum, Qurban Ali, Nasir Mahmood, Nadia Jamil, Soniya Munir


Background: Safe and healthy drinking water is inaccessible to more than 20% of the world population. Among some major risks to safety of potable water, contamination with pathogenic microorganisms is the most alarming and harmful Therefore, it is needed to develop and implement fast and accurate methods for the detection of bacterial contamination in water.

Methods: Biological analysis of drinking water samples obtained from nine different collection points of Lahore city was carried out and total of six different bacterial strains were isolated. Biochemical characterization was done under standard laboratory conditions. Molecular identification of these isolates was done by using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis.

Results: The drinking water sample collected from Punjab University showed highest bacterial count 1066/0.5 ml of drinking water while residential area of University of the Punjab contained least number of bacterial counts i.e., 38/0.5 ml of drinking water. Amplification patterns of isolates SZ1, SZ3, SZ4 and SZ6 obtained by RAPD were found similar to genus Bacillus. While, SZ2 and SZ5 had unique amplification patterns identical to Bacillus megaterium. All the six bacterial strains were tested for the presence of protease, lipase, cellulase, and amylase. Strain SZ2 gave positive result for all of them except amylase.

Conclusion: Tube well water of Punjab University area of Lahore is safe for drinking purpose except admin block tube. It is recommended to monitor the bacteriological load of drinking water at regular intervals in order to control water borne bacterial diseases.

Full Text:



Cabral JP. Water microbiology. Bacterial pathogens and water. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, (2010); 7(10): 3657-3703.

Ashbolt NJ. Microbial contamination of drinking water and disease outcomes in developing regions. Toxicology, (2004); 198(1): 229-238.

Kahlown M, Tahir M, Sheikh A. Water quality status in Pakistan: Second report 2002–2003. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, Islamabad, ISBN, (2004); 969-8469.

Soomro M, Khokhar M, Hussain W, Hussain M. Drinking water Quality challenges in Pakistan. Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, Lahore, (2011); 17-28.

Chitanand M, Gyananath G, Lade H. Bacterial assessment of ground water: A case study of Nanded city. Journal of Environmental Biology, (2008); 29(3): 315.

Borah M, Dutta J, Misra AK. The bacteriological quality of drinking water in Golaghat Sub-division of Golaghat District, Assam, India. International Journal of ChemTech Research, (2010); 2(3).

Lee SH, O'Connor JT, Banerji SK. Biologically mediated corrosion and its effects on water quality in distribution systems. Journal (American Water Works Association), (1980); 636-645.

Der Kooij V, Lieverloo V. Distributing drinking water without disinfectant: highest achievement or height of folly? Aqua, (1999); 48(1): 31-37.

Figueras M, Borrego JJ. New perspectives in monitoring drinking water microbial quality. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, (2010); 7(12): 4179-4202.

Zerdani I, Faid M, Malki A. Feather wastes digestion by new isolated strains Bacillus sp. in Morocco. African Journal of Biotechnology, (2004); 3(1): 67-70.

umar D, Kumar L, Nagar S, Raina C, Parshad R, et al. Screening, isolation and production of lipase/esterase producing Bacillus sp. strain DVL2 and its potential evaluation in esterification and resolution reactions. Archives of Applied Science Research, (2012); 4(4): 1763-1770.

Lynd LR, Weimer PJ, Van Zyl WH, Pretorius IS. Microbial cellulose utilization: fundamentals and biotechnology. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, (2002); 66(3): 506-577.

Deb P, Talukdar SA, Mohsina K, Sarker PK, Sayem SA. Production and partial characterization of extracellular amylase enzyme from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens P-001. Springer Plus, (2013); 2(1): 154.

Boone DR, Castenholz RW, Garrity GM, Brenner DJ, Krieg NR, et al. Bergey's Manual® of Systematic Bacteriology. Chapter: Book Name. 2005 of publication; 2; Springer Science & Business Media.

Niemann S, Dammann-Kalinowski T, Nagel A, Pühler A, Selbitschka W. Genetic basis of enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC)-PCR fingerprint pattern in Sinorhizobium meliloti and identification of S. meliloti employing PCR primers derived from an ERIC-PCR fragment. Archives of Microbiology, (1999); 172(1): 22-30.

Steel R, Torrie J, Dicky D Principles and Procedures of Statistics: A biometrical aproach. Chapter: Book Name. 1997 of publication; 3rd edi; 400-428. McGraw Hill Book Co. Inc.

Seas C, Alarcon M, Aragon JC, Beneit S, Quiñonez M, et al. Surveillance of bacterial pathogens associated with acute diarrhea in Lima, Peru. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, (2000); 4(2): 96-99.

Bain R, Bartram J, Elliott M, Matthews R, McMahan L, et al. A summary catalogue of microbial drinking water tests for low and medium resource settings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, (2012); 9(5): 1609-1625.


  • There are currently no refbacks.