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Fecal Indicator Bacteria Contamination of Fomites and Household Demand for Surface Disinfection Products: A Case Study from Peru

Surface-mediated disease transmission is understudied in developing countries, particularly in light of the evidence that surface concentrations of fecal bacteria typically exceed concentrations in developed countries by 10- to 100-fold. In this study, we examined fecal indicator bacterial contamination of dinner plates at 21 households in four peri-urban communities in the Peruvian Amazon. We also used surveys to estimate household use of and demand for surface disinfectants at 280 households.

Despite detecting total coliform, enterococci, and Escherichia coli on 86%, 43%, and 24% of plates sampled, respectively, less than one-third of households were regularly using bleach to disinfect surfaces. Among non-users of bleach, only 3.2% of respondents reported a new demand for bleach, defined as a high likelihood of using bleach within the next year. This study highlights the potential for marketing approaches to increase use of and demand for surface disinfectants to improve domestic hygiene.

Author: Julian TR, MacDonald LH, Guo Y, Marks SJ, Kosek M, Yori PP, Pinedo SR, Schwab KJ

Citation: Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Nov;89(5):869-72. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0425

Published: 09/09/2013

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene