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Sharing musical instruments means sharing germs
Date:5/12/2011

d for up to 13 days. Although the pilot study was not focused on mold or other fungi, the researchers noted that these potentially disease-causing microorganisms also survived on and inside instruments. Wooden reeds and mouthpieces were found to harbor the greatest quantities of bacteria.

In order to prevent or minimize the transfer and growth of germs on instruments, Levy and Marshall suggest that instrumentalists have their own instruments, mouthpieces, and reeds to reduce germs. If the instrument is shared or obtained from a commercial source, to reduce germs, it should be disassembled and then cleaned using alcohol wipes, soap and water, or a commercial disinfectant. Additionally, swab pull-throughs and other drying cloths can be microwaved after use to minimize growth of germs while stored in instrument cases.

"Although hygienic practices increasingly are being encouraged, in part by the swine flu epidemic and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) outbreaks, our results suggest that cleaning shared wind instruments should also be encouraged, especially in schools," says Levy.


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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
siobhan.gallagher@tufts.edu
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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