Volume 103, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Diarrheal illness remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in children < 5 years in developing countries, and contaminated water contributes to diarrhea risk. To address this problem, a novel hollow fiber ultrafilter (HFU) was developed for household water treatment. To test its impact on water quality and infant health, we conducted a cluster-randomized longitudinal evaluation in 10 intervention and 10 comparison villages in Kenya, attempting to enroll all households with infants (< 12 months old). We conducted a baseline survey, distributed HFUs to intervention households, made biweekly home visits for 1 year to assess water treatment practices and diarrhea in infants, and tested water samples from both groups every 2 months for . We enrolled 92 infants from intervention households and 74 from comparison households. During the 1-year study period, 45.7% of intervention households and 97.3% of comparison households had at least one stored water sample test positive for . Compared with comparison households, the odds of contamination in stored water was lower for intervention households (odds ratio [OR]: 0.42, 95% CI: 0.24, 0.74), but there was no difference in the odds of reported diarrhea in infants, adjusting for covariates (OR: 1.19, 95% CI: 0.74, 1.90). Although nearly all water samples obtained from unprotected sources and filtered by the HFU were free of contamination, HFUs alone were not effective at reducing diarrhea in infants.


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  • Received : 20 Nov 2019
  • Accepted : 04 Mar 2020
  • Published online : 06 Apr 2020
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