Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/312769
Title:
The Occurrence and Control of Pathogens on Fomites
Author:
Sexton, Jonathan D.
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release 06-Jun-2014
Abstract:
Microbes survive for an extended period of time on fomites. With new strains of pathogens constantly emerging, it is important to understand their survival and spread and to evaluate the efficiency of new disinfection methods. The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence of pathogens on fomites, and evaluate different disinfection methods (household bleach and steam vapor). Fomites were sampled in a variety of environments for the presence of pathogens including methicillin intermediate- and resistant- Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile, Penecillium brevi-compactum, Alternaria alternata and novel H1N1 influenza A. Samples were assayed using both cultural and genetic techniques to determine the microbial occurrence. In disinfection studies, samples were collected before and after disinfectant application. Steam vapor was effective at reducing microbial occurrence by>90% with a minimal contact time of 10-20 seconds on hospital fomites. The material and shape of the surface had an effect on the reduction rate, due to access of the disinfecting agent. In addition, low levels of initial contamination limited the reduction rate. Many surfaces had a starting contamination level of less than 3 log10 and after disinfection the contamination levels, in 69% of the samples, were at or near the limit of detection. This suggests a higher reduction is feasible. Household bleach reduced the presence of mold spores and mycelium by >99% on gypsum-wall board. Reduction rates were influenced by the growth stage of mold, with the mycelium requiring additional disinfectant application to achieve the 99% reduction rate. Novel H1N1 influenza A was not recovered on any surfaces in day care facilities and elementary schools. This is consistent with previous studies looking at H1N1 influenza occurrence in similar environments, though it is different from H3N2 influenza A studies. Survival differences among varying influenza strains are expected to have an impact on pathogen spread and human health risks. Differences can be quantitatively evaluated and used to develop more advanced risk assessment models. Steam vapor and household bleach are effective at reducing risks of pathogens in the environment and are critical interventions in an overall strategy to minimize exposure and prevent disease.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
fomites; hospital; influenza; mold; mrsa; Soil, Water & Environmental Science; disinfection
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Soil, Water & Environmental Science
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Gerba, Charles P.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleThe Occurrence and Control of Pathogens on Fomitesen_US
dc.creatorSexton, Jonathan D.en_US
dc.contributor.authorSexton, Jonathan D.en_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.releaseRelease 06-Jun-2014en_US
dc.description.abstractMicrobes survive for an extended period of time on fomites. With new strains of pathogens constantly emerging, it is important to understand their survival and spread and to evaluate the efficiency of new disinfection methods. The purpose of this study was to determine the occurrence of pathogens on fomites, and evaluate different disinfection methods (household bleach and steam vapor). Fomites were sampled in a variety of environments for the presence of pathogens including methicillin intermediate- and resistant- Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile, Penecillium brevi-compactum, Alternaria alternata and novel H1N1 influenza A. Samples were assayed using both cultural and genetic techniques to determine the microbial occurrence. In disinfection studies, samples were collected before and after disinfectant application. Steam vapor was effective at reducing microbial occurrence by>90% with a minimal contact time of 10-20 seconds on hospital fomites. The material and shape of the surface had an effect on the reduction rate, due to access of the disinfecting agent. In addition, low levels of initial contamination limited the reduction rate. Many surfaces had a starting contamination level of less than 3 log10 and after disinfection the contamination levels, in 69% of the samples, were at or near the limit of detection. This suggests a higher reduction is feasible. Household bleach reduced the presence of mold spores and mycelium by >99% on gypsum-wall board. Reduction rates were influenced by the growth stage of mold, with the mycelium requiring additional disinfectant application to achieve the 99% reduction rate. Novel H1N1 influenza A was not recovered on any surfaces in day care facilities and elementary schools. This is consistent with previous studies looking at H1N1 influenza occurrence in similar environments, though it is different from H3N2 influenza A studies. Survival differences among varying influenza strains are expected to have an impact on pathogen spread and human health risks. Differences can be quantitatively evaluated and used to develop more advanced risk assessment models. Steam vapor and household bleach are effective at reducing risks of pathogens in the environment and are critical interventions in an overall strategy to minimize exposure and prevent disease.en_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjectfomitesen_US
dc.subjecthospitalen_US
dc.subjectinfluenzaen_US
dc.subjectmolden_US
dc.subjectmrsaen_US
dc.subjectSoil, Water & Environmental Scienceen_US
dc.subjectdisinfectionen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineSoil, Water & Environmental Scienceen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGerba, Charles P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGerba, Charles P.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReynolds, Kelly A.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberBright, Kelly R.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPepper, Ian L.en_US
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