Fecal Sampling of Soil, Food, Hand, and Surface Samples from Households in Urban Slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh: An Evidence-Based Development of Baby Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Interventions

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  • 1 icddr, b, formerly International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh;
  • | 2 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland
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The aim of this study was to identify the exposure pathways of fecal pathogens for a pediatric population living in the urban slums of Bangladesh. A total of 252 soil, food, surface, and hand rinse samples were collected from the pilot households with children less than 5 years of age. All samples were analyzed using the IDEXX Quanti-Tray System (Colilert-18) to enumerate fecal indicator bacteria Escherichia coli. Escherichia coli was detected in all soil samples collected from children play spaces (N = 46), 35% of objects and surfaces children frequently put in their mouths, and 31% of child food samples. Thirty-three percent of hand samples from the child and 46% of hand samples from the caregiver had detectable E. coli. These findings showed high fecal contamination of soil, food, and on hands and surfaces in households with young children and demonstrate the need for interventions reducing these exposure pathways for susceptible pediatric populations.

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Author Notes

Address correspondence to Munirul Alam or Fatema-Tuz Johura, Molecular Ecology and Metagenomics Laboratory, icddr,b, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212, Bangladesh. E-mails: munirul@icddrb.org or mbmita@gmail.com

Authors’ addresses: Shirajum Monira, Fatema Zohura, Md Sazzadul Islam Bhuyian, Tahmina Parvin, Indrajeet Barman, Fatema Tuz Jubyda, Kazi Sumaita Nahar, Marzia Sultana, Wali Ullah, Shwapon Kumar Biswas, M. Tasdik Hasan, Kazi Zillur Rahman, Jahed Masud, Ismat Minhaj Uddin, Munirul Alam, and Fatema-Tuz Johura, icddr, b, formerly International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: smonira@icddrb.org, fzohura@icddrb.org, sazzadul.islam@icddrb.org, tparvin@icddrb.org, indrajeet.barman@icddrb.org, fatemajubyda041@gmail.com, ksnahar93@gmail.com, msultana@icddrb.org, wali_micro@yahoo.com, shwapon6@gmail.com, tasdikhdip@yahoo.com, zillur_rahman05@yahoo.com, jahed@icddrb.org, ismat.minhaj@icddrb.org, munirul@icddrb.org, and mbmita@gmail.com. Elizabeth D. Thomas, Jamie Perin, and Christine Marie George, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, E-mails: liz.thomas@jhu.edu, jperin@jhu.edu, and cmgeorge@jhu.edu.

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