Category Archives: Research

Identification and quantification of pathogenic helminth eggs using a digital image system

Identification and quantification of pathogenic helminth eggs using a digital image system. Experimental Parasitology, July 2016.

Authors: B. Jiméneza, C. Maya, et. al.

A system was developed to identify and quantify up to seven species of helminth eggs (Ascaris lumbricoides -fertile and unfertile eggs-, Trichuris trichiura, Toxocara canis, Taenia saginata, Hymenolepis nana, Hymenolepis diminuta, and Schistosoma mansoni) in wastewater using different image processing tools and pattern recognition algorithms.

The system allows the helminth eggs most commonly found in wastewater to be reliably and uniformly detected and quantified. In addition, it provides the total number of eggs as well as the individual number by species, and for Ascaris lumbricoides it differentiates whether or not the egg is fertile.

The system only requires basically trained technicians to prepare the samples, as for visual identification there is no need for highly trained personnel. The time required to analyze each image is less than a minute. This system could be used in central analytical laboratories providing a remote analysis service.

 

The Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene/Emory University Spring 2016 Newsletter

The Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene/Emory University Spring 2016 Newsletter

The Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene is an applied research consortium consisting of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, the Carter Center, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia Tech, and CARE, located in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health.

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Two-year old Oscar playing in bath water in Dominican Republic. Photo by Emily Brennan.

The  mission of the CGSW is to enable organizations and communities to provide safe, effective, and sustainable drinking water and effective and sustainable sanitation and hygiene improvements by:

  • Contributing to the evidence base of scientific and practical information
  • Identifying and promoting innovative approaches and partnerships that address the world’s water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) challenge
  • Evaluating interventions and disseminating lessons learned
  • Training future generations of water, sanitation, and global health experts and building capacity of developing country institutions

The Center for Global Safe WASH Newsletter will be sent out quarterly and will serve to share the research and work that the CGSW is doing to influence policies and programs.

This issue contains updates on SaniPath, new research studies, information on upcoming workshops and more.

Chicken coops, sewage treatment plants are hot spots of antibiotic resistance

Chicken coops, sewage treatment plants are hot spots of antibiotic resistance | Source: Eureka Alerts,  May 11 2016 |

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria most often are associated with hospitals and other health-care settings, but a new study indicates that chicken coops and sewage treatment plants also are hot spots of antibiotic resistance.

The research, led by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is published May 12 in Nature.

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria most often are associated with hospitals and other health-care settings, but a new study indicates that chicken coops and sewage treatment plants also are hot spots of antibiotic resistance. The new study surveyed ecosystems of bacteria and their capacity to resist antibiotics in low-resource communities, including Pampas de San Juan de Miraflores, a densely populated slum outside Lima, Peru. The research, led by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is published May 12 in Nature. CREDIT: Pablo Tsukayama

The scientists surveyed bacteria and their capacity to resist antibiotics in a rural village in El Salvador and a densely populated slum on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. In both communities, the researchers identified areas ripe for bacteria to shuffle and share their resistance genes. These hot spots of potential resistance transmission included chicken coops in the rural village and a modern wastewater treatment plant outside Lima.

“Bacteria can do this weird thing that we can’t — exchange DNA directly between unrelated organisms,” said senior author Gautam Dantas, PhD, an associate professor of pathology and immunology. “That means it’s relatively easy for disease-causing bacteria that are treatable with antibiotics to become resistant to those antibiotics quickly. If these bacteria happen to come into contact with other microbes that carry resistance genes, those genes can pop over in one step. We estimate that such gene-transfer events are generally rare, but they are more likely to occur in these hot spots we identified.”

Read the complete article.

Container-Based Sanitation Solutions Webinar – Stanford Water Health and Development

Published on Apr 11, 2016

On March 17, 2016 Water Health and Development hosted a webinar discussing Container Based Sanitation Solutions

 

Interesting innovation with WASH implications

Spinach, Carrots Are Good for You … And for Making Prosthetics, Say UK Scientists | Source: Sustainable Brands, May 9 2016 |

Scientists in the United Kingdom are using spinach leaves and carrots to investigate selective formation of metallic nanoparticles in plastics. The researchers are working to form conductive circuits and create antimicrobial surfaces by accelerating the production of metals already embedded in treated plastic materials using chemicals from the plants. If successful, the practical applications include smart prosthetics, medical devices for hospitals, mobile phones, and other ‘smart’ surfaces.

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Image credit: Heriot-Watt University

Besides devices, the research could also lead to state-of-the-art antimicrobial coatings that could facilitate the creation of cheaper, more reliable ways to improve sanitation in developing countries by creating bacteria-resistant coatings for three dimensional surfaces such as pipes. Such coatings may be able to eliminate micro-organisms that currently cause illnesses and diarrhoeal disease, which kills over 750,000 children each year.

“This method that could be implemented by any country with minimum amount of equipment, is another example of the power of bio-inspired manufacturing.” Desmulliez said.

Read the complete article.

Recent sanitation research

Research Updates

Disease Control Priorities: Diarrheal DiseasesUniversity of Washington, Dept. of Global Health, 2016. Diarrheal diseases remain good indicators of the stage of development of communities in low and middle income families because of the impact of the determinants of diarrheal morbidity and mortality, which include safe drinking water and sanitation.

Should Public Toilets Be Part of Urban Sanitation Solutions for Poor Families Living in Slums? Emory University Center for Global Safe WASH, 2016. This policy note recommends that in order to protect the public health of families living in urban slums, the government of Ghana should reform its current policies regarding public toilets.

Domestic Resource Mobilization in UgandaPublic Finance for WASH, 2016. Efforts to increase domestic resource mobilization for WASH are underway in Uganda, potentially unlocking new sources of revenue that could be channeled into improving WASH services.

The Power of Integration to Multiply Development Impact: A Learning BriefUSAID WASHplus Project, 2016. Under the USAID-funded WASHplus project, integration was a strategic approach to attain desired health and development outcomes and combined WASH with nutrition, education, HIV, and neglected tropical diseases programs.

Village Sanitation and Child Health: Effects and External Validity in a Randomized Field Experiment in Rural IndiaJournal of Health Economics, April 2016. This study of a village sanitation intervention was conducted in rural Maharashtra, India and was designed to identify the effect of village sanitation on average child height.

Topic of the Week – Container-Based Sanitation

Container-Based Sanitation: Assessing Costs and Effectiveness of Excreta Management in Cap Haitien, HaitiEnvironment and Urbanization, April 2015. Container-based sanitation (CBS) – in which wastes are captured in sealable containers that are then transported to treatment facilities – is an alternative sanitation option in urban areas where on-site sanitation and sewerage are infeasible.

User Perceptions of and Willingness to Pay for Household Container-Based Sanitation (CBS) Services: Experience from Cap Haitien, HaitiEnvironment and Urbanization, October 2015. This study presents the results of a pilot CBS service program in Cap Haitien, Haiti. One hundred and eighteen households were randomly selected to receive toilets and a twice-weekly collection service.

Addressing Sanitation Services in Dense Urban Slums: A Container-Based Model.Stanford University, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, 2015. Findings indicate that Container-Based Sanitation can dramatically improve management of waste in otherwise hard-to-serve areas of developing countries while satisfying residents’ desire for safe, convenient, and modern sanitation services.

Webinar: Container-Based Sanitation Solutions. Stanford University, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, April 2016. On March 17, 2016 the Water Health and Development Program hosted a webinar discussing Container-Based Sanitation Solutions.

WASH studies in the May 2016 Amer Jnl Trop Med & Hyg

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 4 May 2016; Vol. 94, No. 5