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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 441; doi:10.3390/ijerph14040441

Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene Conditions and Health Outcomes among Two Settlement Types in Rural Far North Cameroon

1
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3
Department of Environmental Sciences, The Higher Institute of the Sahel, University of Maroua, Maroua BP 46, Far North Region, Cameroon
4
Department of Food Science and Technology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Warish Ahmed and David J. Beale
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 8 April 2017 / Accepted: 13 April 2017 / Published: 20 April 2017
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Abstract

The Far North region in Cameroon has been more heavily impacted by cholera than any other region over the past decade, but very little has been done to study the drivers of waterborne diseases in the region. We investigated the relationship between water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) parameters, microbial and antibiotic resistance (AR) contamination levels in drinking water, and health outcomes using health survey and molecular analysis during June and July of 2014 in two settlement types (agro-pastoralist villages and transhumant pastoralist camps). Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine fecal contamination sources, enteric pathogens, and antibiotic resistance genes. Ruminant-associated fecal contamination was widespread in both settlement types (81.2%), with human-associated contamination detected in 21.7% of the samples. Salmonella spp. (59.4%) and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (stx1 44.9% and stx2 31.9%) were detected across all samples. Tetracycline resistance was found only in village samples. A significant difference in diarrheal incidence within the past 28 days among young children was found between camps (31.3%) and villages (0.0%). Our findings suggest that water contamination may play an important role in contributing to gastrointestinal illness, supporting the need for future research and public health intervention to reduce gastrointestinal illness in the area. View Full-Text
Keywords: microbial source tracking; antibiotic resistance; enteric pathogens; diarrhea disease; health behavior microbial source tracking; antibiotic resistance; enteric pathogens; diarrhea disease; health behavior
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gorham, T.J.; Yoo, J.; Garabed, R.; Mouhaman, A.; Lee, J. Water Access, Sanitation, and Hygiene Conditions and Health Outcomes among Two Settlement Types in Rural Far North Cameroon. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 441.

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