Isolation and Characterization of Heavy Metals Resistant Bacteria in Water Samples from Mambilla Artisanal Mining Site, Nguroje, Taraba State

Tatah Verwiyeh Silas

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

Ayantse Lubem Martins

Department of Biochemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Boyi Nsenreuti Richard Harris

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

Timothy Mgbede

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria

Roy Yohanna Emochone

Department of Biochemistry, Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria


Vol: 13, Issue: 3, 2023

Receiving Date: 2023-08-19 Acceptance Date:


Publication Date:


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The present study aimed to characterize and assess the resistance of specific bacterial strains obtained from water samples collected around the Nguroje area of the Mambilla Plateau in Sarduana Local Government. The focus was on their ability to tolerate various heavy metal ions and their potential applicability in remediating environments contaminated with heavy metals. Various culture media and lead, copper, and mercury salts were employed in the investigation. Water samples were gathered from diverse sources, including wells, streams, and an abandoned pit near the mining site. The isolated bacteria strains underwent characterization through both physical and chemical methods, encompassing Gram staining, coagulase, oxidase, catalase, indole, citrate, and utilization of glucose, galactose, and sucrose. The bacteria species identified were Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter aerogenes, and Streptococcus sp. Notably, Escherichia coli was the predominant bacterium across all three sampled sources, while Enterobacter aerogenes exhibited the lowest occurrence. Among the five bacterial isolates, namely Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, three were subjected to metal resistance testing. Staphylococcus aureus demonstrated susceptibility at lead (Pb) concentrations of 0.20g/100mL, mercury (Hg) concentrations of 0.30g/100mL, and copper (Cu) concentrations of 0.10g/100mL. For Escherichia coli, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) were 0.15g/100mL for lead, 0.25g/100mL for mercury, and 0.20g/100mL for copper. Similarly, Pseudomonas aeruginosa exhibited MICs of 0.15g/100mL for lead, 0.20g/100mL for mercury, and 0.10g/100mL for copper. Interestingly, the resistant bacteria strains displayed a comparable resistance pattern towards antibiotics. Staphylococcus aureus showcased resistance to six out of ten tested antibiotics. Escherichia coli displayed the highest level of resistance (seven out of ten), while Pseudomonas aeruginosa exhibited resistance to five antibiotics. In conclusion, the isolated bacteria strains exhibit significant potential for employment as agents in bioremediation processes within environments contaminated by heavy metals. This study, underscores their promising role in addressing heavy metal pollution.

Keywords: Heavy Metals; Bacteria; Water and Artisanal mining


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