International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

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The Chain of Infection Transmission in the Home and Everyday Life Settings, and the Role of Hygiene in Reducing the Risk of Infection

The objectives of this report are:

  • To assess the strength of the causal link between hygiene (infection prevention and control) practice and infectious disease in home (household) and everyday life settings
  • To review the validity and applicability of the IFH risk-based approach to hygiene in home and everyday life settings
  • To review the key factors to be considered in applying targeted hygiene as part of hygiene promotion programmes.

The database of scientific material used for developing this report includes microbiological data (laboratory and field-based) on how and to what extent pathogenic organisms enter the home and how they survive and are spread around the home environment. This is reviewed together with data on the extent to which we are exposed to these agents in our daily lives, and what is known about their infectivity (infectious doses). Data from epidemiological (intervention and observational studies) and data generated by quantitative microbial risk assessment is also reviewed.

This report includes data related to infectious disease transmission from people (infected or carriers), contaminated food, infected faecal material, domestic animals (pets) etc via hands, hand, food (kitchen surfaces) and water contact surfaces, clothing and household linens, children’s toys, baths wash basins, toilets etc.

This review has been drafted by Professor Sally Bloomfield. It has been reviewed by the IFH Scientific Advisory Board and a final consenses content agreed.

(Note: This is an update of the 2002 IFH review: The Infection Potential in the Domestic Setting and the Role of Hygiene)

Author: Bloomfield SF, Exner M, Nath KJ, Signorelli C, Scott EA

Download File: IFHinfectiontransmissionreviewFINAL.pdf

Posted: 01/06/2012

Published: 01/06/2012

Publication Type: Review

Publisher: IFH