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:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors ... customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel ... style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media of ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Quality metrics ... yet in many ways they remain in the eye of the beholder, according to ... a publication of The American Journal of Managed Care. For the full issue, ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Birmingham, Lake Orion, Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... ... ... their direction with respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. ... for tolerable intercourse but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network ... the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased ... location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 ... The article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to ... operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, ... Board will take whatever measures required to build a ... stock which is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink ... Company Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly ... to understand, not only by the Company, but shareholders ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... N.J. , June 24, 2016  Collagen ... the design, development and manufacturing of collagen and ... regeneration announced today that Bill Messer ... and Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio ... medical devices. Bill joins the Collagen ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... and Markets has announced the addition of the ... their offering. ... products and provides an updated review, including its applications ... covering the total market, which includes three main industries: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: