Portable Toilets as a Health Surveillance Platform
Francisco Diéguez from Disal in Chile will determine whether samples collected from portable toilets found across Pacific coastal regions in South America can be used to monitor pathogenic diseases and antibiotic resistance and help combat these major public health concerns. The portable toilets are tagged with electronic chips that are used to monitor their location and state. They will develop a method for weekly collection and storage of fecal and urine samples from toilets in and around Lima, Peru. Existing methods including immune assays will be used to identify the bacterial species and the presence of antibiotic resistance in the samples, and these will be geographically mapped across communities and correlated with local medical reports.