Volume 89, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Surface-mediated disease transmission is understudied in developing countries, particularly in light of the evidence that surface concentrations of fecal bacteria typically exceed concentrations in developed countries by 10- to 100-fold. In this study, we examined fecal indicator bacterial contamination of dinner plates at 21 households in four peri-urban communities in the Peruvian Amazon. We also used surveys to estimate household use of and demand for surface disinfectants at 280 households. Despite detecting total coliform, enterococci, and on 86%, 43%, and 24% of plates sampled, respectively, less than one-third of households were regularly using bleach to disinfect surfaces. Among non-users of bleach, only 3.2% of respondents reported a new demand for bleach, defined as a high likelihood of using bleach within the next year. This study highlights the potential for marketing approaches to increase use of and demand for surface disinfectants to improve domestic hygiene.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Boone SA, Gerba CP, , 2007. Significance of fomites in the spread of respiratory and enteric viral disease. Appl Environ Microbiol 73: 16871696.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  2. Itah AY, Ben AE, , 2004. Incidence of enteric bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus in day care centers in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 35: 202. [Google Scholar]
  3. Pickering AJ, Julian TR, Marks SJ, Mattioli MC, Boehm AB, Schwab KJ, Davis J, , 2012. Fecal contamination and diarrheal pathogens on surfaces and soil show spatial heterogeneity within Tanzanian households and no association with improved sanitation. Environ Sci Technol 46: 5736.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  4. Sinclair RG, Gerba CP, , 2010. Microbial contamination in kitchens and bathrooms of rural Cambodian village households. Lett Appl Microbiol 52: 144149.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. Pickering AJ, Davis J, Walters SP, Horak HM, Keymer DP, Mushi D, Strickfaden R, Chynoweth JS, Liu J, Blum A, Rogers K, Boehm AB, , 2010. Hands, water, and health: fecal contamination in Tanzanian communities with improved, non-networked water supplies. Environ Sci Technol 44: 32673272.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  6. WHO, UNAIDS, 2004. Meeting the MDG Drinking Water and Sanitation Target: A Mid-Term Assessment of Progress. Geneva: World Health Organization. [Google Scholar]
  7. Laborde DJ, Weigle KA, Weber DJ, Kotch JB, , 1993. Effect of fecal contamination on diarrheal illness rates in day-care centers. Am J Epidemiol 138: 243.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. Bloomfield S, Scott E, , 2003. Cross-contamination and infection in the domestic environment and the role of chemical disinfectants. J Appl Microbiol 83: 19.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Barker J, Vipond I, Bloomfield S, , 2004. Effects of cleaning and disinfection in reducing the spread of Norovirus contamination via environmental surfaces. J Hosp Infect 58: 4249.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. Bloomfield SF, , 2012. The Chain of Infection Transmission in the Home and Everyday Life Settings, and the Role of Hygiene in Reducing the Risk of Infection. Boston, MA: Simmons College. [Google Scholar]
  11. Bloomfield S, Nath K, , 2006. Home Hygiene in Developing Countries. Prevention of infection in the home and the peri-domestic setting. A training resource issued by International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene . [Google Scholar]
  12. Cole E, , 2008. Comprehensive family hygiene promotion in peri-urban Cape Town: gastrointestinal and skin disease reduction in children under five. Int J Infect Dis 12: e435.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Jenkins MW, Scott B, , 2007. Behavioral indicators of household decision-making and demand for sanitation and potential gains from social marketing in Ghana. Soc Sci Med 64: 24272442.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  14. Moore G, Griffith C, , 2007. Problems associated with traditional hygiene swabbing: the need for in-house standardization. J Appl Microbiol 103: 10901103.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  15. Oswald WE, Lescano AG, Bern C, Calderon MM, Cabrera L, Gilman RH, , 2007. Fecal contamination of drinking water within peri-urban households, Lima, Peru. Am J Trop Med Hyg 77: 699704. [Google Scholar]
  16. Kyriacou A, Drakopoulou S, Georgaki I, Fountoulakis M, Mitsou E, Lasaridi KE, Manios Y, Manios T, , 2009. Screening for fecal contamination in primary schools in Crete, Greece. Child Care Health Dev 35: 159163.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  17. Weniger BG, Ruttenber AJ, Goodman RA, Juranek DD, Wahlquist SP, Smith JD, , 1983. Fecal coliforms on environmental surfaces in two day care centers. Appl Environ Microbiol 45: 733. [Google Scholar]
  18. Holaday B, Pantell R, Lewis C, Gilliss CL, , 1990. Patterns of fecal-coliform contamination in day-care-centers. Public Health Nurs 7: 224228.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  19. Estrada-Garcia T, Mintz ED, , 1996. Cholera: foodborne transmission and its prevention. Eur J Epidemiol 12: 461469.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  20. Fujioka R, Sian-Denton C, Borja M, Castro J, Morphew K, , 1998. Soil: the environmental source of Escherichia coli and enterococci in Guam's streams. J Appl Microbiol 85: 83S89S.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 10 Jul 2012
  • Accepted : 01 Jul 2013
  • Published online : 06 Nov 2013

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error