The Open Microbiology Journal

ISSN: 1874-2858 ― Volume 14, 2020

Non Tuberculosis Mycobacterium, E. coli and E. faecalis from Biofilm in Drinking Water Distribution Systems from Selected Sites of Addis Ababa

Samson Girma*, Zelalem Yaregal, Yosef Beyene, Mengistu Tadesse, Desalegn Addise, Redwan Muzeyin, Waktola Gobana, Tesfaye Legesse, Firehiwot Abera, Almaz Gonfa, Asheber Kebede
Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, P. O. Box 1242, Ethiopia



The decline in microbial quality of drinking water may be attributed to many factors among which the presence of biofilm within the distribution system is the major cause of contamination. Drinking water distribution systems provide an oligotrophic environment, for post-treatment recovery and regrowth of microorganisms including the opportunistic Nontuberculosis Mycobacterium (NTM).


The aim was to look for opportunistic non tuberculosis mycobacterium and indicator organisms of fecal contamination from biofilm in drinking water distribution pipeline from selected sites of Addis Ababa.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 40 biofilm samples were collected from two sub-cities of Addis Ababa. Biofilm samples were taken from the inner surfaces of the get valve and water meter. For the detection of E. coli and E. faecalis, diluted biofilm samples were filtered, then it was incubated on respective culture media. For non-tuberculosis mycobacterium, the homogenized biofilm sediment was processed using the standard SD bio line method, whereby, The processed sediment was inoculated to appropriate solid and liquid culture media. The DNA extraction was conducted by chemical lysis followed by PCR amplification, from the grown colonies on LJ media (Löwenstein–Jensen). The identification of Mycobacterium species was performed by reverse hybridization using a membrane strip and an enzymatic color reaction.


From the total biofilm samples, 14 out of 40 (35%) were positive for mycobacteria species. M. gordonea was the most prevalent specie of Mycobacterium, whereby 8/14 (57.1%) of the isolates were from this species followed by M. fortuitum 1/14 (7.14%). About (35.7%) 5/14 of the genus Mycobaterium were unidentified species. Indicator organisms of fecal contamination (E. coli and E. faecalis) were found in 3/40(7.5%) and 6/40(15%) respectively. There was no statistically significant association between nontuberculosis mycobacterium and the indicator organisms at p value of 0.01.


The study has highlighted that the occurrence of NTM in drinking water distribution in a significant proportion. M. gordonae was found to be the most dominant species of nontuberculosis mycobacterium found in the distribution line biofilm samples.

Keywords: M. gordonea, M. fortuitum, E. faecalis, E. coli, Biofilm, Nontuberculosis mycobacterium.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 13
First Page: 171
Last Page: 176
Publisher Id: TOMICROJ-13-171
DOI: 10.2174/1874285801913010171

Article History:

Received Date: 01/02/2019
Revision Received Date: 10/05/2019
Acceptance Date: 17/05/2019
Electronic publication date: 30/06/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Girma et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; E-mail:

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