Understanding antibiotic resistance
Understanding antibiotic resistance

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Understanding antibiotic resistance

2.2 The role of sanitation and hygiene

As you saw in the previous section, pathogens can be transmitted indirectly by the faecal–oral route. Faecal–oral transmission occurs when unclean hands, food or other objects contaminated by faeces enter the mouth. These different faecal–oral transmission routes are illustrated by the ‘F-diagram’ (Figure 6).

Described image
Figure 6 The ‘F-diagram’: faecal–oral transmission routes and barriers to transmission.

Transmission by these routes can be stopped (or reduced) by sanitation and hygiene barriers (Figure 6).

  • A primary barrier prevents the initial contact with faeces. This includes improving access to toilets to separate faeces from the environment and washing hands after going to the toilet.
  • A secondary barrier prevents infectious pathogens being eaten by the new host. This includes using a clean water source, washing hands before preparing or consuming food, and covering food.

Next, you will look at how these hygiene barriers can be used to lower antibiotic demand and reduce unnecessary use.

UAR_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus