Hospital Effluent Water found to Discharge Multidrug Resistant Bacterium into Municipal Treatment Plants
Dr Eze Emmanuel Chima’s PhD research in Medical Microbiology found that hospital effluent water discharged into municipal waste treatment plants contained multidrug resistant (MDR), extensively drug resistant(XDR) and pan-drug resistant(PDR) strains of biofilm forming Acinetobacter baumannii.
‘I feel a great sense of fulfillment and joy at having completed this degree,’ he said. ‘At times, it seemed impossible. I hope to make a difference in medical research through the design of novel approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious disease.’
Chima chose to study microbiology and major in medical research because he had personally experienced infection and how it can alter a person’s life. ‘There are several emerging and re-emerging pathogenic diseases that have a significant social, health and economic impact on people’s lives. The earlier we ask important questions about these pathogens, and get definite answers, the better for all of us.
‘I encountered several challenges, and there were reasons to cry, but also to be happy. Patience, persistence, focus, hard work and the belief that the degree is worth the sacrifice made me overcome. I had fun, met great friends and also learnt from unpleasant experiences. UKZN is a great Institution which provides all the facilities necessary for research excellence.’
Chima is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Water and Wastewater Technology at the Durban University of Technology where he is studying microplastic-biofilm interaction in drinking water using metagenomics and transcriptomic approaches.
His study was supervised by Professors Manormoney Pillay and Mohamed El Zowalaty.
The Nigerian-born academic thanked his supportive family, describing his father, Elder IG Eze as his inspiration and his mother, Catherine Eze as his comfort. He enjoys reading, discussing politics and playing chess.
Words: Lihle Sosibo