Dirty hands: bacteria of faecal origin on commuters' hands.


Judah, G; Donachie, P; Cobb, E; Schmidt, W; Holland, M; Curtis, V; (2009) Dirty hands: bacteria of faecal origin on commuters' hands. Epidemiology and infection, 138 (3). pp. 409-14. ISSN 0950-2688 DOI: 10.1017/S0950268809990641

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Abstract

Although many studies have investigated bacteria on the hands of health-care workers and caregivers, few have looked at microbiological contamination on the hands of the general adult public. This study investigated faecal bacteria on the hands of commuters in five UK cities. Of the 404 people sampled 28% were found to have bacteria of faecal origin on their hands. A breakdown by city showed that the proportion of people with contaminated hands increased the further north the city of investigation (P<0.001), an effect which was due in large part to a significant trend in men but not in women. Bus users were more contaminated than train users. The results of this exploratory study indicate that hand hygiene practices in the UK may be inadequate and that faecal indicator bacteria on hands may be used to monitor the effect of hand-washing promotion campaigns.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases
Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
PubMed ID: 19723362
Web of Science ID: 274878500015
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4870

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