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:11/24/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, ... ... launched half-cup sizes, has launched their Black Friday sale a week early, offering ... ThirdLove continues to transform the intimate apparel industry through both mobile fit technology ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... are national leaders when it comes to several aspects of orthopedic care. They ... joint replacements, orthopedic surgeries and general orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... California (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Energy's LENR HHT Bolier Reactor System. Brillouin is the developer of renewable energy ... controlled low energy nuclear reactions (“LENR”), announced today that its WET™ and HHT™ ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... United States to support their local poison centers through donations on Tuesday, Dec. ... calls it “a day that inspires people to collaborate in improving their ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Aided by seed ... announced an innovative study designed to yield insights into how to detect and treat ... biomarkers for pancreatic cancer from small, non-coding RNA molecules (ncRNA), genetic material that is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 24, 2015  Figure 1, a free mobile-first network ... cases, has launched a new completely redesigned web version ... allows radiologists, who work primarily on a desktop, to ... with its radiologist user base, Figure 1 is hosting ... North America (RSNA) Annual Meeting. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... NEW YORK , Nov. 24, 2015 iRhythm ... on advancing cardiac care, today announced that it will participate in ... Palace Hotel in New York, NY . ... to present on Tuesday December 1, 2015 at 8:50am ET. ... Inc. . --> . ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Teledyne DALSA ... X-Ray image sensing technology, will introduce its CMOS X-Ray ... Exhibition , November 29 to December 3, at McCormick Place ... dynamic detectors for diagnostic and interventional imaging will be on ... Xineos family of advanced CMOS X-Ray detectors is the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: