Housing and Certain Socioenvironmental Factors and Prevalence of Enteropathogenic Bacteria among Infants with Diarrheal Disease in Panamá

Miguel KouranyGorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panamá, Republic of Panamá

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Manuel A. VásquezGorgas Memorial Laboratory, Panamá, Republic of Panamá

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A survey was made in Panamá of the dwellings of 1,819 infants with diarrheal disease who had been examined for the presence of enterobacterial pathogens. Each of six dwelling types encountered differed characteristically from each other, but five of the six types were substandard and their occupants were of low socioeconomic status. Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, Shigella, and Salmonella, alone or in association with one another, were more frequently isolated from infants living in substandard dwellings than from betterkept houses. The differences in rates among the various substandard dwelling types (6.0 to 10.2%) were not significant but contrasted markedly with the zero infection rate observed in the better type of housing.

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