Environmental Factors Associated with High Fly Densities and Diarrhea in Vellore, India.

Applied and environmental microbiology

PubMedID: 26116684

Collinet-Adler S, Babji S, Francis M, Kattula D, Premkumar PS, Sarkar R, Mohan VR, Ward H, Kang G, Balraj V, Naumova EN. Environmental Factors Associated with High Fly Densities and Diarrhea in Vellore, India. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015;.
Diarrhea causes significant morbidity and mortality in Indian children under 5 years of age. Flies carry enteric pathogens and may mediate foodborne infections. In this study, we characterized fly densities as a determinant of infectious diarrhea in a longitudinal cohort of 160 urban and 80 rural households with 1,274 individuals (27% under 5 years of age) in Vellore, India. Household questionnaires on living conditions were completed at enrollment. Fly abundance was measured during the wet and dry seasons using fly ribbons placed in kitchens. PCRs for enteric bacteria, viruses, and protozoa were performed on 60 fly samples. Forty-three (72%) fly samples were positive for the following pathogens: norovirus (50%), Salmonella spp. (46. 7%), rotavirus (6. 7%), and Escherichia coli (6. 7%). Ninety-one episodes of diarrhea occurred (89% in children under 5 years of age). Stool pathogens isolated in 24 of 77 (31%) samples included E. coli, Shigella spp. , Vibrio spp. , Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and rotavirus. Multivariate log-linear models were used to explore the relationships between diarrhea and fly densities, controlling for demographics, hygiene, and human-animal interactions. Fly abundance was 6 times higher in rural than urban sites (P < 0. 0001). Disposal of garbage close to homes and rural living were significant risk factors for high fly densities. The presence of latrines was protective against high fly densities and diarrhea. The adjusted relative risks of diarrheal episodes and duration of diarrhea, associated with fly density at the 75th percentile, were 1. 18 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1. 03 to 1. 34) and 1. 15 (95% CI, 1. 02 to 1. 29), respectively. Flies harbored enteric pathogens, including norovirus, a poorly documented pathogen on flies.