Virus transfer between fingerpads and fomites
Article first published online: 12 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Applied Microbiology © 2010 The Society for Applied Microbiology
Journal of Applied Microbiology
Volume 109, Issue 6, pages 1868–1874, December 2010
How to Cite
Julian, T.R., Leckie, J.O. and Boehm, A.B. (2010), Virus transfer between fingerpads and fomites. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 109: 1868–1874. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2010.04814.x
- Issue published online: 12 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 12 NOV 2010
- 2010/0780: received 7 May 2010, revised 18 June 2010 and accepted 27 June 2010
- environmental hygiene;
- hand hygiene;
- quantitative microbial risk assessment;
- virus transfer
Aims: Virus transfer between individuals and fomites is an important route of transmission for both gastrointestinal and respiratory illness. The present study examines how direction of transfer, virus species, time since last handwashing, gender, and titre affect viral transfer between fingerpads and glass.
Methods and Results: Six hundred fifty-six total transfer events, performed by 20 volunteers using MS2, ϕX174, and fr indicated 0·23 ± 0·22 (mean and standard deviation) of virus is readily transferred on contact. Virus transfer is significantly influenced by virus species and time since last handwashing. Transfer of fr bacteriophage is significantly higher than both MS2 and ϕX174. Virus transfer between surfaces is reduced for recently washed hands.
Conclusions: Viruses are readily transferred between skin and surfaces on contact. The fraction of virus transferred is dependent on multiple factors including virus species, recently washing hands, and direction of transfer likely because of surface physicochemical interactions.
Significance and Impact of the Study: The study is the first to provide a large data set of virus transfer events describing the central tendency and distribution of fraction virus transferred between fingers and glass. The data set from the study, along with the quantified effect sizes of the factors explored, inform studies examining role of fomites in disease transmission.