South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation


Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Centre


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Director: Prof. Anthony I Okoh

The SAMRC Microbial Water Quality Monitoring Centre at the University of Fort Hare strives to be a highly profitable center of excellence for the development of the next generation of microbial water resource specialists and to be primus inter pares for proffering solutions to the myriad of water related challenges in South Africa and beyond.

We will conduct high quality multi- and trans-disciplinary research in water science and management within the precinct of the following themes:

  • Quality indices and micro-/macro-ecology of water resources
  • Effluent monitoring and compliance
  • Emerging and re-emerging microbial infections
  • Reservoirs of antibiotic resistance
  • Exploration for new bioactive compounds of health and biotechnological importance.

The Microbial water quality monitoring centre was established to be a hub for addressing the myriad of challenges in the water sector in the Eastern Cape Province (ECP) within the overarching aim of the research initiatives which is “evaluating some key emerging challenges in microbial water quality and safety as a vehicle for skills and capacity development in water science especially amongst the previously disadvantages demographic groups in the Province

We will focus on the following themes:

  1. Evaluation of the quality indices of water resources in the ECP and its impact on public health, This will include water resources used for drinking, recreational, aquaculture and irrigation purposes as well as wastewater treatment effluents.
  2. Monitoring of waterborne and water related microbial pathogens including emerging and re-emerging pathogens in the ECP.
  3. Evaluation of reservoirs of antibiotic resistance determinants in the environment including the aquatic environment of the ECP.
  4. Evaluation of the efficacies of current chlorine disinfection guidelines in view of the increasing incidences of chlorine disinfectant resistant pathogens.
  5. Development of real-time detection devices such as biosensors for the quantitation and detection of antibiotics and chlorine resistance genetic elements in water and development of guideline for such nucleic acids in water.
  6. The centre will also be involve in the monitoring of the water resources in the ECP for classical and emerging pollutants of health importance
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Last updated:
29 February, 2016
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