Human fecal and pathogen exposure pathways in rural Indian villages and the effect of increased latrine coverage

Human fecal and pathogen exposure pathways in rural Indian villages and the effect of increased latrine coverageWater Research, Volume 100, 1 September 2016, Pages 232–244.

Authors: Mitsunori Odagiri, Alexander Schriewer, et al.

Highlights

  • Application of Bacteroidales MST to evaluate improved sanitation impacts
  • Widespread human and animal fecal contamination detected in homes.
  • Pathogens detected in drinking sources associated with subsequent child diarrhea.
  • Public ponds used domestically were heavily contaminated with multiple pathogens.
  • No decrease in human fecal or pathogen contamination from increased latrine coverage.

In conclusion, the study demonstrates that

  • (1) improved sanitation alone may be insufficient and further interventions needed in the domestic domain to reduce widespread human and animal fecal contamination observed in homes,
  • (2) pathogens detected in tubewells indicate these sources are microbiologically unsafe for drinking and were associated with child diarrhea,
  • (3) domestic use of ponds heavily contaminated with multiple pathogens presents an under-recognized health risk, and
  • (4) a 27 percentage point increase in improved sanitation access at village-level did not reduce detectable human fecal and pathogen contamination in this setting.

 

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