Evaluating human sensory perceptions and the compartment bag test assays as proxies for the presence and concentration of Escherichia coli in drinking water in Western Kenya

Yolanda M. Brooks*, Shalean M. Collins, Patrick Mbullo, Godfred O. Boateng, Sera L. Young, Ruth E. Richardson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Wecompared the concentrations of Escherichia coli quantified with Colilert™and the compartment bag test (CBT) in the source water and household stored drinking water (SDW) of 35 households in western Kenya. We also investigated the associations of the perceptions of organoleptic properties and overall quality with 3 1MPN/100mL E. coli in SDW. Participants who rated the taste or smell of their SDW "< 5" on a 1 = "poor" to 5 = "excellent" Likert scale were 8.71 or 7.04 times more likely, respectively, to have 3 1 MPN/100 mL E. coli. Organoleptic properties are innate, albeit imperfect, indicators of fecal pollution in water. Within their shared quantification range, concentrations of E. coli enumerated with Colilert and CBT were similar and had a significant correlation coefficient, 0.896 (95% confidence interval = 0.691-1.101). The methods had moderate agreement within the World Health Organization's health risk levels (Cohen's Kappa coefficient = 0.640). In low-resource settings, CBT provides comparable assessments of E. coli concentrations to Colilert.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1008
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume97
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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