Introduction: Typhoid incidence in children is higher in urban areas than in rural areas of Bangladesh. This study examined whether healthy urban children harboured higher levels of Salmonella genes than healthy rural children.
Methodology: Stool samples from 140 children were studied: 70 from rural areas and 70 from urban metropolitan areas.
Results: The stool samples of urban children contained more Salmonella genes (median 4, IQR 3-4) than those of rural children (median 3, IQR 3-4). This suggests that urban Bangladeshi children have more Salmonella genes in their guts than rural children. Especially, in those under 12 months of age, the Salmonella gene prevalence in urban children was unique. They had more Salmonella genes (median 4, IQR 4-5) than rural children in the same age group (median 3, IQR 2.5-4). We also found more Salmonella genes in urban children who drank tap water (median 4, IQR 3-5) than in rural children whose water source was tube well water (median 3, IQR 2-4) and boiled pond water (median 3, IQR 3-3.5). However, there was no significant difference of Salmonella genes between urban children who drank tap-water and children whose water source was a tube well (median 4, IQR 3-4).
Conclusions: These data suggest that the urban environment, including the drinking water supply system, increases the likelihood of healthy children in urban areas harbouring more potentially pathogenic Salmonella organisms in their gut than found in rural healthy children.
Click here to read the article, published in The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries.