Fecal-oral transmission

The fecal–oral route (or alternatively the oral–fecal route or orofecal route) is a route of transmission of a disease, when pathogens in fecal particles pass from one host and introduced into the oral cavity of another host.

The process of transmission may be simple or involve multiple steps. Some examples of routes of fecal-oral transmission include:

  • water that has come in contact with feces and is then inadequately treated before drinking;
  • food that has been prepared in the presence of fecal matter;
  • disease vectors, like houseflies, spreading contamination from inadequate fecal disposal;
  • poor or absent cleaning after handling feces or anything that has been in contact with it;
  • sexual practices that may involve oral contact with feces, such as anilingus or coprophilia.

Some of the diseases that can be passed via the fecal-oral route are:

Transmission of Helicobacter pylori by oral-fecal route has been demonstrated in murine models.[7]


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