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      Elucidation of bacteria found in car interiors and strategies to reduce the presence of potential pathogens

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          Abstract

          The human microbiome is influenced by a number of factors, including environmental exposure to microbes. Because many humans spend a large amount of time in built environments, it can be expected that the microbial ecology of these environments will influence the human microbiome. In an attempt to further understand the microbial ecology of built environments, the microbiota of car interiors was analyzed using culture dependent and culture independent methods. While it was found that the number and type of bacteria varied widely among the cars and sites tested, Staphylococcus and Propionibacterium were nearly always the dominant genera found at the locations sampled. Because Staphylococcus is of particular concern to human health, the characteristics of this genus found in car interiors were investigated. Staphylococcus epidermidis, S. aureus, and S. warnerii were the most prevalent staphylococcal species found, and 22.6% of S. aureus strains isolated from shared community vehicles were resistant to methicillin. The reduction in the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria in cars by using silver-based antimicrobial surface coatings was also evaluated. Coatings containing 5% silver ion additives were applied to steering wheels, placed in cars for five months and were found to eliminate the presence of culturable pathogenic bacteria recovered from these sites relative to controls. Together, these results provide new insight into the microbiota found in an important built environment, the automobile, and potential strategies for controlling the presence of human pathogens.

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          Most cited references 30

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          Invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in the United States.

          As the epidemiology of infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) changes, accurate information on the scope and magnitude of MRSA infections in the US population is needed. To describe the incidence and distribution of invasive MRSA disease in 9 US communities and to estimate the burden of invasive MRSA infections in the United States in 2005. Active, population-based surveillance for invasive MRSA in 9 sites participating in the Active Bacterial Core surveillance (ABCs)/Emerging Infections Program Network from July 2004 through December 2005. Reports of MRSA were investigated and classified as either health care-associated (either hospital-onset or community-onset) or community-associated (patients without established health care risk factors for MRSA). Incidence rates and estimated number of invasive MRSA infections and in-hospital deaths among patients with MRSA in the United States in 2005; interval estimates of incidence excluding 1 site that appeared to be an outlier with the highest incidence; molecular characterization of infecting strains. There were 8987 observed cases of invasive MRSA reported during the surveillance period. Most MRSA infections were health care-associated: 5250 (58.4%) were community-onset infections, 2389 (26.6%) were hospital-onset infections; 1234 (13.7%) were community-associated infections, and 114 (1.3%) could not be classified. In 2005, the standardized incidence rate of invasive MRSA was 31.8 per 100,000 (interval estimate, 24.4-35.2). Incidence rates were highest among persons 65 years and older (127.7 per 100,000; interval estimate, 92.6-156.9), blacks (66.5 per 100,000; interval estimate, 43.5-63.1), and males (37.5 per 100,000; interval estimate, 26.8-39.5). There were 1598 in-hospital deaths among patients with MRSA infection during the surveillance period. In 2005, the standardized mortality rate was 6.3 per 100,000 (interval estimate, 3.3-7.5). Molecular testing identified strains historically associated with community-associated disease outbreaks recovered from cultures in both hospital-onset and community-onset health care-associated infections in all surveillance areas. Invasive MRSA infection affects certain populations disproportionately. It is a major public health problem primarily related to health care but no longer confined to intensive care units, acute care hospitals, or any health care institution.
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            Microbial biogeography: putting microorganisms on the map.

            We review the biogeography of microorganisms in light of the biogeography of macroorganisms. A large body of research supports the idea that free-living microbial taxa exhibit biogeographic patterns. Current evidence confirms that, as proposed by the Baas-Becking hypothesis, 'the environment selects' and is, in part, responsible for spatial variation in microbial diversity. However, recent studies also dispute the idea that 'everything is everywhere'. We also consider how the processes that generate and maintain biogeographic patterns in macroorganisms could operate in the microbial world.
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              The National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS): a resource for assessing exposure to environmental pollutants.

              Because human activities impact the timing, location, and degree of pollutant exposure, they play a key role in explaining exposure variation. This fact has motivated the collection of activity pattern data for their specific use in exposure assessments. The largest of these recent efforts is the National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS), a 2-year probability-based telephone survey (n=9386) of exposure-related human activities in the United States (U.S.) sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The primary purpose of NHAPS was to provide comprehensive and current exposure information over broad geographical and temporal scales, particularly for use in probabilistic population exposure models. NHAPS was conducted on a virtually daily basis from late September 1992 through September 1994 by the University of Maryland's Survey Research Center using a computer-assisted telephone interview instrument (CATI) to collect 24-h retrospective diaries and answers to a number of personal and exposure-related questions from each respondent. The resulting diary records contain beginning and ending times for each distinct combination of location and activity occurring on the diary day (i.e., each microenvironment). Between 340 and 1713 respondents of all ages were interviewed in each of the 10 EPA regions across the 48 contiguous states. Interviews were completed in 63% of the households contacted. NHAPS respondents reported spending an average of 87% of their time in enclosed buildings and about 6% of their time in enclosed vehicles. These proportions are fairly constant across the various regions of the U.S. and Canada and for the California population between the late 1980s, when the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sponsored a state-wide activity pattern study, and the mid-1990s, when NHAPS was conducted. However, the number of people exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in California seems to have decreased over the same time period, where exposure is determined by the reported time spent with a smoker. In both California and the entire nation, the most time spent exposed to ETS was reported to take place in residential locations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Biofouling
                Biofouling
                gbif
                Biofouling
                Taylor & Francis
                0892-7014
                1029-2454
                24 February 2014
                March 2014
                : 30
                : 3
                : 337-346
                Affiliations
                [a ] Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
                [b ] Materials Research Department, Ford Motor Company Dearborn, MI 48121, USA
                Author notes
                [* ] Corresponding author. Email: brboles@ 123456umich.edu
                [1]

                These authors contributed equally to the work.

                Article
                10.1080/08927014.2013.873418
                3962071
                24564823
                © 2014 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Supplemental Terms and Conditions for iOpenAccess articles published in Taylor & Francis journals , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                This is an Open Access article. Non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly attributed, cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way, is permitted. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.

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