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How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review.

A systematic review of the literature shows that common nosocomial pathogens can survive on surfaces for months and thereby be a continuous source of infection transmission. Gram+ve bacteria, such as Enterococcus spp. Staph. aureus (including MRSA), or Strep. pyogenes , survive for months on dry surfaces. Gram -ve species, such as Acinetobacter spp, E. coli , Klebsiella spp., P.aeruginosa or Shigella spp. can also survive for months. A few others, such as H. influenzae , or Vibrio cholerae , however, persist only for days. Mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis , and spore-forming bacteria, including Cl. difficile , can survive for several months whilst Candida albicans can survive up to 4 months. Viruses from the respiratory tract, such as corona , coxsackie , influenza , SARS or rhino virus, can persist on surfaces for a few days whilst viruses from the GI tract, such as astro virus, HAV , polio- or rota virus, persist for approximately 2 months. Blood-borne viruses, such as HBV or HIV, can persist for more than 1 week, and Herpes viruses persist from only a few hours up to 7 days. BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:130 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-130.

Author: Kramer A, Schwebke I, Kampf G

Published: 16/08/2006

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: BMC Infectious Diseases