from Otter et al. 2011
published in ICHE 32(7): 687-699
DOI 10.1086/660363

The role played by contaminated surfaces in the transmission of nosocomial pathogens

Inanimate surfaces, and especially surfaces with frequent hand and skin contact, contribute significantly to the transmission of pathogens

This review highlights the literature on surface contamination in the healthcare system. Scientific evidence was found for several factors: Pathogens can be transferred from patients to surfaces in quantities sufficient for transmission. Furthermore, pathogens can survive on surfaces for extended periods of time and can persist on surfaces even after they have been cleaned and disinfected. Finally, pathogens can be transferred from surfaces to the hands of healthcare workers, leading to the transmission of healthcare-associated infections.