Animal-related factors associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in children younger than five years in western Kenya: A matched case-control study

Conan, A. et al. (2017) Animal-related factors associated with moderate-to-severe diarrhea in children younger than five years in western Kenya: A matched case-control study. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 11(8), e0005795. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005795) (PMID:28783751) (PMCID:PMC5559092)

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Background Diarrheal disease remains among the leading causes of global mortality in children younger than 5 years. Exposure to domestic animals may be a risk factor for diarrheal disease. The objectives of this study were to identify animal-related exposures associated with cases of moderate-to-severe diarrhea (MSD) in children in rural western Kenya, and to identify the major zoonotic enteric pathogens present in domestic animals residing in the homesteads of case and control children. Methodology/Principal findings We characterized animal-related exposures in a subset of case and control children (n = 73 pairs matched on age, sex and location) with reported animal presence at home enrolled in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study in western Kenya, and analysed these for an association with MSD. We identified potentially zoonotic enteric pathogens in pooled fecal specimens collected from domestic animals resident at children’s homesteads. Variables that were associated with decreased risk of MSD were washing hands after animal contact (matched odds ratio [MOR] = 0.2; 95% CI 0.08–0.7), and presence of adult sheep that were not confined in a pen overnight (MOR = 0.1; 0.02–0.5). Variables that were associated with increased risk of MSD were increasing number of sheep owned (MOR = 1.2; 1.0–1.5), frequent observation of fresh rodent excreta (feces/urine) outside the house (MOR = 7.5; 1.5–37.2), and participation of the child in providing water to chickens (MOR = 3.8; 1.2–12.2). Of 691 pooled specimens collected from 2,174 domestic animals, 159 pools (23%) tested positive for one or more potentially zoonotic enteric pathogens (Campylobacter jejuni, C. coli, non-typhoidal Salmonella, diarrheagenic E. coli, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, or rotavirus). We did not find any association between the presence of particular pathogens in household animals, and MSD in children. Conclusions and significance Public health agencies should continue to promote frequent hand washing, including after animal contact, to reduce the risk of MSD. Future studies should address specific causal relations of MSD with sheep and chicken husbandry practices, and with the presence of rodents.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Knobel, Mr Darryn and Cleaveland, Professor Sarah
Authors: Conan, A., O’Reilly, C. E., Ogola, E., Ochieng, J. B., Blackstock, A. J., Omore, R., Ochieng, L., Moke, F., Parsons, M. B., Xiao, L., Roellig, D., Farag, T. H., Nataro, J. P., Kotloff, K. L., Levine, M. M., Mintz, E. D., Breiman, R. F., Cleaveland, S., and Knobel, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1935-2735
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 11(8):e0005795
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
500531An integrated epidemiological study of zoonotic pathogens in linked human and animal populations in rural KenyaSarah CleavelandWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)081828/B/06/ZRI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED