Comparison of survivability ofStaphylococcus aureusand spores ofAspergillus nigeron commonly used floor materials

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HIGHLIGHTSThe survivability of Staphylococcus aureus and spores of Aspergillus niger was compared on 5 of the most common floor materials.Microbial survivability differs for various floor materials.Unlike carpets, smooth floor surface materials, such as vinyl tiles, porcelain tile, and wood, allow survival of S aureus and spores for A niger for at least 4 weeks.Background:The survivability of Staphylococcus aureus and spores of Aspergillus niger was compared on 5 common floor materials.Methods:Floor materials were inoculated with a known concentration of S aureus and spores of A niger on day 0. Their survivability was measured on days, 2, 7, 14, and 28 by bulk rinsate method and enumerated using culture-based method.Results:The difference in change of S aureus levels was statistically significant for all tested days (P < .001) for all floor materials. Vinyl composition tile (VCT) and porcelain tile (PT) had statistically similar survivability and differed statistically from carpets. On both VCT and PT, positive growth for S aureus occurred by day 2 (1–1.7 log10), declined slightly (0.1 to −0.2 log10) by day 7, and remained positive until day 28. However, S aureus was undetected by day 7 on both carpets. A niger spores were undetected on residential broadloom carpet and rubber-backed commercial carpet after day 2 but survived on VCT, PT, and wood until day 28.Conclusions:Floor materials with hard and smooth surfaces, such as VCT and PT, can allow survival of S aureus and A niger for up to 4 weeks. It may imply that floor materials can play a major role in preserving microbial contaminants in the built environment.

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