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Staphylococcus aureus: What are the levels of contamination of common-access environmental surfaces?

Over a 5-week period, 100 samples were collected from a range of publicly accessed surfaces in a densely populated area of Hong Kong, with each of the 25 sites being sampled 4 times daily. Of a total of 500 samples, 56 (11.2%) yielded S. aureus. No culture-positive samples were obtained from public telephones, but other sites were frequently contaminated including automated teller machines 19/160 (11.9), drink vending machines 3/20 (15), ticket vending machines 9/60 (15), escalator belts 6/60 (10), game center consoles 1/10 (10), public telephones 0/20 (0), public toilet door plates 7/60 (11.7), elevator buttons 5/60 (8.3), travel card add-value machines 2/20 (10), door access keypads 4/30 (13.3). Although community-associated MRSA infection is reported in Hong Kong, the absence of MRSA isolates was not remarkable, because colonisation levels are less than 1.0% in the community. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol: 2008;29:194-6.

Author: Boost M, O’Donoghue M, Him SC, et al

Published: 01/01/2008

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology