Daily Archives: March 23, 2014

Fecal contamination in rural Peru households

AI Gil, CF Lanata, SM Hartinger, D Mäusezahl, B Padilla, TJ Ochoa, M Lozada, I Pineda, H Verastegui. Fecal contamination of food, water, hands, and kitchen utensils at the household level in rural areas of Peru. J Environ Health. 2014 Jan-Feb;76(6):102-6.

The study described in this article evaluated sources of contamination of children’s food and drinking water in rural households in the highlands of Peru. Samples from children’s meals, drinking water, kitchen utensils, and caregivers’ and children’s hands were analyzed for total coliforms and E. coli counts using Petrifilm EC. Thermotolerant coliforms in water were measured using DelAgua test kits while diarrheagenic E. coli was identified using polymerase chain reaction methods (PCR). Thermotolerant coliforms were found in 48% of all water samples. E. coli was found on 23% of hands, 16% of utensils, and 4% of meals. Kitchen cloths were the item most frequently contaminated with total coliforms (89%) and E. coli (42%). Diarrheagenic E. coli was found in 33% of drinking water, 27% of meals, and on 23% of kitchen utensils. These findings indicate a need to develop hygiene interventions that focus on specific kitchen utensils and hand washing practices, to reduce the contamination of food, water, and the kitchen environment in these rural settings.

Risk assessment of rooftop-collected rainwater

Y. Jesmi, KM Rahiman, AA Hatha, L Deepu, S Jyothi. Risk assessment of rooftop-collected rainwater for individual household and community use in central Kerala, India. J Environ Health. 2014 Jan-Feb;76(6):114-21.

Water quality of rooftop-collected rainwater is an issue of increased interest particularly in developing countries where the collected water is used as a source of drinking water. Bacteriological and chemical parameters of 25 samples of rooftop-harvested rainwater stored in ferrocement tanks were analyzed in the study described in this article. Except for the pH and lower dissolved oxygen levels, all other physicochemical parameters were within World Health Organization guidelines. Bacteriological results revealed that the rooftop-harvested rainwater stored in tanks does not often meet the bacteriological quality standards prescribed for drinking water. Fifty percent of samples of harvested rainwater for rural and urban community use and 20% of the samples for individual household use showed the presence of E. coli. Fecal coliform/fecal streptococci ratios revealed nonhuman animal sources of fecal pollution. Risk assessment of bacterial isolates from the harvested rainwater showed high resistance to ampicillin, erythromycin, penicillin, and vancomycin. Multiple antibiotic resistance (MAR) indexing of the isolates and elucidation of the resistance patterns revealed that 73% of the isolates exhibited MAR.