Navigation Links
Musical Instruments a Breeding Ground for Germs: Study

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Learning to play a musical instrument has many well-known advantages, but sharing wind instruments can spread disease-causing bacteria and other germs, researchers warn.

Germs linger for up to several days on a number of commonly shared musical instruments, including the clarinet, flute and saxophone, according to a report from Tufts University School of Medicine.

The study, released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, analyzed samples collected from 20 clarinets, flutes and saxophones, and found living bacteria as well as mold or yeast on every instrument.

The method the researchers employed to test the instruments involved using a pump, an aerosol generator and simulated playing. They found that after applying E. coli, Staphylococcus and a deactivated strain of tuberculosis bacteria to a clarinet, cultures showed that the bacteria survived for up to a few days on the instrument. The deactivated strain of tuberculosis bacteria, in particular, survived for nearly two weeks.

Among the other organisms the researchers found growing on and inside instruments were mold and other fungi. The worst offenders -- wooden reeds and mouthpieces -- harbored the greatest quantities of bacteria.

Based on the findings, the researchers cautioned that musical instruments should be properly cleaned after use.

"Thousands of children share musical instruments in elementary and high school each year but there is no established standard for cleaning those instruments. We found that disease-causing germs survive on commonly shared instruments for one to two days," Dr. Stuart Levy, a professor of molecular biology and microbiology and director of the Center for Adaptation Genetics and Drug Resistance at Tufts University School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

The study's authors offered the following tips on how to prevent or minimize the transfer and growth of germs on musical instruments:

  • Don't share. Whenever possible, instrumentalists should have their own instruments, mouthpieces and reeds.
  • Clean after every use. If an instrument is shared or obtained from a commercial source, it should be disassembled and then cleaned using alcohol wipes, soap and water, or a commercial disinfectant.
  • Microwave. Cleaning cloths, such as swab pull-throughs and other drying cloths, can be microwaved after use to kill germs before storing them away 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," Levy concluded.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides detailed information on how to stop the spread of germs.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: Tufts University, news release, May 12, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. 10 Songs NOT to Play at Prom; Bridging the Musical Generation Gap
2. The Science Behind Musical Taste
3. ANT+ and Texas Instruments connect proven ultra low power sensors to smartphones
4. PHSI LLC Announces the Addition of New Technology from Audina Hearing Instruments
5. Spectrum Surgical Instruments Corp. Announces: Cleanables™ Instrument Cleaning Brushes
6. Spectrum Surgical Instruments Appoints President, Chief Operating Officer
7. Surgical instruments with electronic serial numbers
8. Hormones dictate breeding success in birds
9. Groundbreaking Principal and Contributor on Dr. Oz Show Releases His Latest Book on How We Can Influence the Lives of Children
10. Connor Sport Court Lays the Ground for NBA All-Star Jam Session Presented by Adidas
11. Texas-based consortium announces groundbreaking vaccine research program
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Musical Instruments a Breeding Ground for Germs: Study
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... An inventor, ... to dispense prescription medications at home, so he invented the patent-pending ELECTRONIC M.D. ... dispense prescription medications. In doing so, it could help to prevent potential overdose ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that over 50% of its members are ... people under the age of 50 – or 67% of the population - are infected ... HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" said Michelle Li, Co-Founder of ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Keeping ... platform for mental health and wellness consultation, has collaborated with a leading web-based ... the knowledge gap experienced by parents and bring advice from parenting experts within ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... contact center software Q-Suite, announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term ... fully supported Asterisk 11 LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug ... need to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first ... supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares, ... their offering.  --> ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ... the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature into ... Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed ... exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and to ... three organizations have worked together leading advocacy efforts ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  ARKRAY USA , Inc., ... evidence demonstrating the accuracy of its blood glucose meter ... Resistance, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Los ... GLUCOCARD ® 01 meter and the Assure ® ... ability to accurately measure glucose levels in blood is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: