1921
Volume 89, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

We conducted direct observation of 23 caregiver–infant pairs for 130 hours and recorded wash-related behaviors to identify pathways of fecal–oral transmission of bacteria among infants. In addition to testing fingers, food, and drinking water of infants, three infants actively ingested 11.3 ± 9.2 (mean ± SD) handfuls of soil and two ingested chicken feces 2 ± 1.4 times in 6 hours. Hand washing with soap was not common and drinking water was contaminated with in half (12 of 22) of the households. A one-year-old infant ingesting 1 gram of chicken feces in a day and 20 grams of soil from a laundry area of the kitchen yard would consume 4,700,000–23,000,000 and 440–4,240 , respectively, from these sources. Besides standard wash and nutrition interventions, infants in low-income communities should be protected from exploratory ingestion of chicken feces, soil, and geophagia for optimal child health and growth.

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  • Received : 12 Sep 2012
  • Accepted : 03 Jul 2013
  • Published online : 09 Oct 2013

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