This chapter begins with a discussion of household sources of pathogens that can enter the home via air, food or water. Pathogens can also be introduced into a home via humans themselves who acquire an infection outside of the home prior to entry into the home. Once inside the home, pathogens can be transferred either via person-person contact, or via person-fomite-person. In this chapter are identified household and indoor sources of pathogens, and their fate and transport within the indoor environment, with particular emphasis on the occurrence and persistence of pathogens on fomites. Finally, the potential for transfer of pathogens via fomites and hand-to-hand contact is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvironmental Microbiology
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780123946263
StatePublished - 2015


  • Household pathogens
  • Pathogen on fomites
  • Pathogen transmission
  • Persistence of pathogens on fomites
  • Transfer of pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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