Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transfer of microorganisms from fomites to hands and risk assessment of contaminated and disinfected surfaces
by Lopez, Gerardo Urquijo, Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2013, 281; 3554118
Abstract (Summary)

It is now widely accepted that surface contamination plays an important role in the transmission of both respiratory and gastrointestinal infections in the domestic environment and community setting. The efficiency of transfer of a pathogen to the hand from a fomite is important in modeling transmission in microbial risk assessment models. The objective of this study was to use published literature to assess the role of fomites and hands in disease transmission, and to conduct fomite-to-finger transfer studies from various porous and nonporous fomites under different relative humidity condition using non-pathogenic strains of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, MS2 coliphage, Bacillus thuringiensis spores, and poliovirus 1; to evaluate the persistence of bacteria and viruses on surfaces; to examine bacteria and virus transfer from treated surfaces; and to conduct a foodborne quantitative microbial risk assessment using Campylobacter jejuni from the data obtained in these studies. It was found that numerous factors influence the transfer efficiency of microorganisms, with moisture being the most important, with greater transfer under humid conditions. Other factors influencing transfer include drying time, contact time, pressure, friction, type of material, and porosity of the fomite. Percent transfer was greater under high relative humidity for both porous and nonporous surfaces. Most organisms on average had greater transfer under high relative humidity (40–65%) compared to low relative humidity (15–32%). Relative humidity and fomite type influenced the survival of all studied organisms; survival was greater on nonporous surfaces than those for porous surfaces. Test organisms were reduced up to 99.997% on the fomites after the surfaces were wiped with a disinfectant wipe. Microbial fomite-to-finger transfer from disinfectant wipe-treated surfaces were, lower than from non-treated surfaces. The disinfectant-wipe intervention reduced the risk of Campylobacter infection, illness, and death by 2 to 3 orders on all fomites. The disinfectant-wipe intervention reduced the annual risk of illness below the reported national average of diagnosed Campylobacteriosis cases 1.3E-04. This risk assessment demonstrates that the use of disinfectant wipes to decontaminate surface areas after chicken preparation reduces the risk of C. jejuni infections up to 99.2%.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gerba, Charles P.
Commitee: Bright, Kelly R., Pepper, Ian L., Reynolds, Kelly A.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Soil, Water & Environmental Science
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Microbiology, Public health, Environmental science
Keywords: Bacillus thuringiensis, Campylobacter jejuni, Disease transmission, Fomites, Foodborne microbial risk assessment, Staphylococcus aureus
Publication Number: 3554118
ISBN: 978-1-267-94032-2
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