ISSN: 0973-7510

E-ISSN: 2581-690X

Research Article | Open Access
Billy McBenedict1,2 , Wilhelmina Ndapunikwa Hauwanga1,3, Heike Wanke4, Percy Maruwa Chimwamurombe5 and Bernard Mudenda Hang’ombe2
1School of Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Namibia, P.O. Box 2654, Eliander Mwatale Street, Oshakati West, Namibia.
2Microbiology Unit, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zambia, P. O. Box 32379, Lusaka, Zambia.
3Department of Natural Resource Management, Namibia University of Science and Technology, P/Bag 13388, 13 Storch Street, Windhoek, Namibia.
4Geology Department, University of Namibia, 340 Mandume Ndemufayo Avenue, Windhoek, Namibia.
5Department of Natural and Applied Sciences, Namibia University of Science and Technology, P/Bag 13388, 13 Storch Street, Windhoek, Namibia.
J Pure Appl Microbiol, 2019, 13 (3): 1583-1593 | Article Number: 5642 | © The Author(s). 2019
Received: 12/04/2019 | Accepted: 30/05/2019 | Published: 20/09/2019

Water is a global need for the health and survival of all life forms and a habitat to some. However, approximately one billion people in developing countries do not have access to safe drinking water in which Namibia is not an exception. Rural communities of Ohangwena and Omusati regions of Namibia construct hand-dug wells as a source of water. However, these hand-dug wells are not monitored for water quality and are generally poorly constructed. In addition, these hand-dug wells are easily accessed by both humans and animals making them a potential reservoir for zoonotic bacteria partly known to aid antimicrobial resistance development, a global health concern. A metagenomics analysis targeting the 16S rRNA gene was used to detect the bacterial communities in a total of 40 hand-dug well water samples, with 20 being from the wet season and the rest from the dry season. A total of 57 bacterial pathogens were detected with a diverse of zoonotic assemblage. Analysis revealed significant differences in diversity and evenness, and no significant difference in richness of zoonotic bacterial pathogens in hand-dug wells between the wet and dry seasons (P < 0.05) with the dry season having a higher diversity and evenness compared to the wet season. The analysis showed that the hand-dug well water was not definitely safe for human and livestock consumption and their exposure to zoonotic pathogens was pronounced in the dry season.


Bacteria, Diversity, Hand-dug wells, Metagenomics, Water, Zoonotic.

Article Metrics

Article View: 2515

Share This Article

Journal Tools

© The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, sharing, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.