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Occurrence of Host-Associated Fecal Markers on Child Hands, Household Soil, and Drinking Water in Rural Bangladeshi Households

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
Division of Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720, United States
§ Office of Research & Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio 45268, United States
International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
The World Bank, Washington, D.C. 20433, United States
# Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, United States
*E-mail: [email protected]. Telephone: +1 510 410 2666.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett. 2016, 3, 11, 393–398
Publication Date (Web):October 13, 2016
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00382
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    We evaluated whether provision and promotion of improved sanitation hardware (toilets and child feces management tools) reduced rotavirus and human fecal contamination of drinking water, child hands, and soil among rural Bangladeshi compounds enrolled in a cluster-randomized trial. We also measured host-associated genetic markers of ruminant and avian feces. We found evidence of widespread ruminant and avian fecal contamination in the compound environment; non-human fecal marker occurrence scaled with animal ownership. Strategies for controlling non-human fecal waste should be considered when designing interventions to reduce exposure to fecal contamination in low-income settings. Detection of a human-associated fecal marker and rotavirus was rare and unchanged by provision and promotion of improved sanitation to intervention compounds. The sanitation intervention reduced ruminant fecal contamination in drinking water and general (non-host specific) fecal contamination in soil but overall had limited effects on reducing fecal contamination in the household environment.

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