Faecal-oral transmission refers to the process whereby disease is transmitted via the faeces  of an infected individual, to the mouth of a susceptible individual. This transmission can occur through failures in sanitation systems along the sanitation chain (toilet, containment, conveyance, treatment, end use, and disposal) leading to exposure via various routes including food, water, hands, flies, inanimate objects or surfaces, as illustrated below:

Source: WHO Guidelines on Sanitation and Health (2018). 

Faecal-oral transmission can be interrupted by water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions.

Want to know more about faecal-oral transmission of COVID-19?

Editor's note

Author: Jackie Knee
Review: Tom Heath, Robert Dreibelbis, Oliver Cumming, Karin Gallandat, Kate Medlicott
Last update: 01.05.2020

Did this answer your question?