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A billion people lack access to improved water, a greater number lack access to microbiologically safe water and even more lack access to basic sanitation and hygiene, all of which perpetuate fecal pathogen exposures resulting in an enormous global burden of infectious disease. The inability to easily determine if water, food, hands and other exposure sources are free of or low in fecal microbes is a major weakness in the ability to tackle, prevent and control an infectious disease burden that annually affects billions and kills millions. Until now, simple, appropriate, accessible, portable, self-contained, lab-independent and affordable tests to detect and quantify fecal bacteria in water, food, on hands and in other environmental media did not exist and have been desperately needed.
This business venture will further develop, evaluate and commercialize a new innovation, the Compartment Bag Test (CBT): a detection-quantification test for fecal bacteria in water, foods, on hands and in other environmental media that is done in a compartmentalized plastic bag using chromogenic (color-changing) culture media and is visually read and scored by eye. Knowing the fecal bacteria content in water and other samples will prompt actions to improve microbial quality and thereby to reduce enteric infectious disease risks from these common exposure sources. Hence, our new fecal bacteria test for water, food, hands and environmental media will make it possible to bring testing to the many drinking waters, foods, treated fecal wastes and hands that are not now tested and also serve a catalyst to achieve safe water, food and proper hygiene. Information on fecal bacteria presence and levels in water, food and other environmental media will inform, trigger actions and facilitate effective allocatation of resources in limited resource settings, thereby facilitating access for billions people who now lack access to safe water.