Rapid urbanisation has led to a sanitation crisis in low-income urban areas. The challenge is to identify how limited public funding can best be used to improve sanitation and reduce public health risks but policymakers and development partners lack tools to assess the public health risks from poor sanitation.
Our researchers are working with the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at Emory University in Atlanta, USA and partners in India to apply the science of Microbial Source Tracking (MST) to the challenge of typhoid transmissions in the slums of urban India. Our MST methods are being used to map and manage disease transmission in Indian cities as part of this international collaboration, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Human-specific microbial markers are being used by the team for the first time to predict the transmission routes of the typhoid pathogen within India’s poorest urban environments making use of the SaniPath Exposure Assessment Tool to generate risk profiles for each pathway. It is envisaged that the risk profiles will show users which pathways contribute the greatest risk and where interventions may have the greatest impact on reducing exposure typhoid.
This research project commenced in 2016 and will end in 2020.
The SaniPath Typhoid project aims to increase the evidence base available to sanitation policymakers and implementers in low-income, urban communities to tackle typhoid transmission among the urban poor. It is designed to assess public health risks related to poor sanitation and to help prioritise sanitation investments based on the exposures that represent the greatest risk of typhoid transmission.
The project is ongoing; output, findings and impact will be updated in due course.
Dr James Ebdon
Dr Sarah Purnell
Emory University, Atlanta, USADr Christine MoeDr Ashutosh WadhwaSurajah RajJamie Green
National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Disease (NICED), Kolkata, IndiaDr Shanta DuttaDr Ashish MukhopadyayDr Suman KanungoDr Alok ChakrabartiDr Goutham ChoudhariDr Pranab Chatterjee
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation