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.


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  • Received : 10 Jul 2012
  • Accepted : 01 Jul 2013

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