Evaluation of a disinfectant wipe intervention on fomite-to-finger microbial transfer

Gerardo U. Lopez, Masaaki Kitajima, Aaron Havas, Charles P. Gerba, Kelly A. Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Inanimate surfaces, or fomites, can serve as routes of transmission of enteric and respiratory pathogens. No previous studies have evaluated the impact of surface disinfection on the level of pathogen transfer from fomites to fingers. Thus, the present study investigated the change in microbial transfer from contaminated fomites to fingers following disinfecting wipe use. Escherichia coli (108 to 109 CFU/ml), Staphylococcus aureus (109 CFU/ml), Bacillus thuringiensis spores (107 to 108 CFU/ml), and poliovirus 1 (108 PFU/ml) were seeded on ceramic tile, laminate, and granite in 10-μl drops and allowed to dry for 30 min at a relative humidity of 15 to 32%. The seeded fomites were treated with a disinfectant wipe and allowed to dry for an additional 10 min. Fomite-to-finger transfer trials were conducted to measure concentrations of transferred microorganisms on the fingers after the disinfectant wipe intervention. The mean log10 reduction of the test microorganisms on fomites by the disinfectant wipe treatment varied from 1.9 to 5.0, depending on the microorganism and the fomite. Microbial transfer from disinfectant-wipetreated fomites was lower (up to<0.1% on average) than from nontreated surfaces (up to 36.3% on average, reported in our previous study) for all types of microorganisms and fomites. This is the first study quantifying microbial transfer from contaminated fomites to fingers after the use of disinfectant wipe intervention. The data generated in the present study can be used in quantitative microbial risk assessment models to predict the effect of disinfectant wipes in reducing microbial exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3113-3118
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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