Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Flies and water as reservoirs for bacterial enteropathogens in urban and rural areas in and around Lahore, Pakistan

K. Khalila1 c1, G.- B. Lindbloma2, K. Mazhara1 and B. Kaijsera2

a1 Pathology Laboratory, Department of Paediatrics, King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan

a2 Department of Clinical Bacteriology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden


The study was conducted to isolate and characterize campylobacter, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-labile toxin (ETEC-LT), shigella and salmonella in flies and water.

The material for the study, flies (n = 300) and water samples (n = 148), was collected from different localities in and around Lahore, Pakistan. Cultivation of the samples was performed on conventional standard media. Membrane filtration technique was used for water prior to culture. Determination of ETEC-LT was done by GM1 ELISA.

Results of our study showed that flies and water were reservoirs for all the four pathogens, campylobacter, ETEC-LT, shigella and salmonella. Flies from the village were carrying fewer enteropathogens, while water from the village was found to be more contaminated as compared to the city. Campylobacter and ETEC-LT were the most frequently isolated pathogens in both flies and water.

Thus the incidence of diarrhoeal disease in children of developing countries may be decreased by providing plenty of safe drinking water, improving excreta disposal, toilet facilities and giving education in personal hygiene.

(Accepted June 30 1994)


c1 Correspondence to: Dr Kausar Khalil, 188 Shah Jamal, Lahore, Pakistan.