Volume 98, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Consumption of contaminated stored food can cause childhood diarrhea. Flies carry enteropathogens, although their contribution to food contamination remains unclear. We investigated the role of flies in contaminating stored food by collecting food and flies from the same households in rural Bangladesh. We selected 182 households with children ≤ 24 months old that had stored foods for later feeding at room temperature for ≥ 3 hours. We collected food samples and captured flies with fly tapes hung by the kitchen. We used the IDEXX Quanti-Tray System (Colilert-18 media; IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Westbrook, ME) to enumerate with the most probable number (MPN) method. –positive IDEXX wells were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction for pathogenic genes (, , , , , , , , , and ). was detected in 61% (111/182) of food samples, with a mean of 1.1 log MPN/dry g. Fifteen samples (8%) contained pathogenic ; seven (4%) had enteropathogenic (EPEC) genes ( and/or ); and 10 (5%) had enteroaggregative genes ( and/or ). Of flies captured in 68 (37%) households, was detected in 41 (60%, mean 2.9 log MPN/fly), and one fly (1%) had an EPEC gene (). For paired fly-food samples, each log MPN increase in flies was associated with a 0.31 log MPN increase in stored food (95% confidence interval: 0.07, 0.55). In rural Bangladesh, flies possibly a likely route for fecal contamination of stored food. Controlling fly populations may reduce contamination of food stored for young children.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 25 May 2017
  • Accepted : 20 Dec 2017
  • Published online : 12 Feb 2018

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