|Title||Evaluation of the potential for virus dispersal during hand drying: a comparison of three methods|
To use a MS2 bacteriophage model to compare three hand-drying methods, paper towels (PT), a warm air dryer (WAD) and a jet air dryer (JAD), for their potential to disperse viruses and contaminate the immediate environment during use.
Methods and Results
Participants washed their gloved hands with a suspension of MS2 bacteriophage and hands were dried with one of the three hand-drying devices. The quantity of MS2 present in the areas around each device was determined using a plaque assay. Samples were collected from plates containing the indicator strain, placed at varying heights and distances and also from the air. Over a height range of 0.15-1.65 m, the JAD dispersed an average of >60 and >1300-fold more plaque-forming units (pfu) compared to the WAD and PT (P <0.0001), respectively. The JAD dispersed an average of >20 and >190-fold more pfu in total compared to WAD and PT at all distances tested up to 3 m (P <0.01), respectively. Air samples collected around each device 15 minutes after use indicated that the JAD dispersed an average of >50 and >100-fold more pfu compared to the WAD and PT (P <0.001), respectively.
Use of the JAD lead to significantly greater and further dispersal of MS2 bacteriophage from artificially contaminated hands when compared to the WAD and PT.
The choice of hand drying device should be considered carefully in areas where infection prevention concerns are paramount, such as healthcare settings and the food industry.
|Journal||Journal of Applied Microbiology|
|Journal citation||120 (2), pp. 478-486|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)||doi:10.1111/jam.13014|
|Published in print||Feb 2016|
|Published online||30 Nov 2015|
|Published||30 Nov 2015|
|License||CC BY 4.0|