Navigation Links
Graduation contamination
Date:5/16/2011

Graduations are a celebration of achievement and growth, but could all the pomp and circumstance increase your risk of exposure to harmful bacteria? A team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined the risk of acquiring pathogenic bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) through shaking hands at graduation ceremonies across Maryland. A handshake, a short ritual in which two people grasp one of each other's opposite hands, dates back as far as the 5th century BCE. This gesture has become ingrained in modern society as a standard greeting and part of the traditional graduation ceremony. Researchers swabbed participants' hands before and immediately following graduation to identify any pathogenic bacteria and found 93 percent of samples contained nonpathogenic bacteria. Their results are featured in the June 2011 issue of the Journal of School Nursing.

"A single handshake offers only a small risk of acquiring harmful bacteria," said David Bishai, MD, PhD, MPH, professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health. "Our study indicates when shaking hands, the rate of hand contamination among graduating students to be 100 times lower than the 17 percent rate observed among health workers caring for patients known to be colonized with MRSA. Reasons for the lower rate of contamination at graduations include the much briefer and less-extensive contact in a handshake and what we presume is a lower prevalence of MRSA in graduating students compared to hospital patients. Another reason may be that subsequent handshakes could remove pathogens acquired in an earlier handshake."

Researchers conducted a repeated measures observational study among select elementary, secondary and post-secondary school graduations in May of 2008. They measured bacteriological culture from each hand of school officials immediately after the application of commercial hand sanitizer and immediately before a graduation ceremony. In addition, researchers measured bacteriological culture of each hand immediately after the ceremony. Pregraduation and postgraduation samples were collected from the left and right hands of each participant. One of 25 pregraduation bacterial isolates was identified as a pathogen, specifically methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and was cultured from a right hand specimen. Of the postgraduation specimens, 96 percent grew bacterial from the enrichment broth. All samples from left hands and 93 percent of samples from right hands showed bacteria after graduation.

Bishai got the idea for the project after years of attending Bloomberg School's graduations and wondering what would be growing on the dean's hand at the end of the day. His interest was piqued when he learned than some officials at Johns Hopkins graduations were sneaking squirts of hand sanitizer behind the podium. When he raised the issue in a class full of Hopkins undergrads in his Health Economics class, six volunteered as research assistants to help collect samples that spring.

Bishai goes on to say, "Based on the evidence from this study, the probability of acquiring bacterial pathogens during handshaking could be lower than is commonly perceived by the general public. Individuals who already engage in hand hygiene after handshaking should not be dissuaded from this practice. With a lower bound estimate of one bacterial pathogen acquired in 5,209 handshakes, the study offers the politicians, preachers, principals, deans and even amateur hand shakers some reassurance that shaking hands with strangers is not as defiling as some might think."


'/>"/>

Contact: Natalie Wood-Wright
nwoodwri@jhsph.edu
410-614-6029
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. 24x7 Infection Control, Inc. Announces World's First, Modern “Shield” Against Microbial Contamination
2. Canadian Cattle Producers Willing to Make Changes to Prevent E. coli O157 Contamination on their Farms
3. FDA Adds 16 More Firms to Import Alert for Salmonella Contamination in May 2010: Many Non-U.S. Firms Affected According to FDAImports.com
4. Long- and short-sleeved physician workwear receive same amount of bacterial and MRSA contamination
5. Social class makes no difference to water contamination risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... Digital Scientists, a software innovation lab specializing in web ... Greenville, South Carolina location. The lab has set up shop at the ... working with South Carolina clients for years from our office here in Atlanta,” explains ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... According to a new study by NCPA Senior Fellow John ... the rules Congress has directed the CBO to follow. The CBO itself previously recognized ... Yet, it estimates a reduction in employer-based coverage due to the GOP reform, which ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 24, 2017 , ... The iaedp Foundation, the premier provider of educational programs ... suffering from the full spectrum of disordered eating, announced today that the 2017 Symposium ... all 50 states and several countries converged on the Green Valley Resort in Las ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Premier Center for Shamanic Healing and Spiritual Awakening, proudly presents her Sacred ... 2017. This sacred and spiritual journey during the Summer Solstice will also ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... (ONS) wanted to create a communications platform that positions them as the go-to ... and ONS reinvented their online publication as an always-on, always-fresh news, views and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Today Stock-Callers.com have issued research ... Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), Edwards Lifesciences ... SSH ). These companies are part of the Healthcare sector, ... March 23 rd , 2017, with the NYSE Health Care ... care companies in the S&P 500 were down about 0.4% ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , March 24, 2017  Eli ... today announced plans to invest $850 million in ... span facilities across its U.S. enterprise, including research ... The investments are being driven by demand for ... of potential medicines in development targeting cancer, pain, ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 23, 2017  Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: ... a clinical-stage oncology and dermatology biopharmaceutical company, today ... Commitment Term Sheet (the "Definitive Financing") it entered ... the Company,s stockholders, who are referred to in ... Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: