Research has found in a new study that the bacteria which cause strep throat might remain for a much longer period of time on inorganic objects than earlier laboratory tests have shown, stated University of Buffalo investigators.
Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is the main cause of respiratory tract and ear infections in youngsters, and Streptococcus pyogenes, which is the bacterial perpetrator behind both skin infections and also strep throat, was found to stay on surface area such as toys, books and even inside cribs for several hours after the items had been cleaned, stated a report that was published on Friday in the journal Infection and Immunity.
The usual ideas believed about these two bacteria were that they died swiftly once they were outside of a human host. It was also believed the principal cause of infection came by direct human contact or through expelled droplets from sneezing or coughing.
These findings should make individuals much more cautious about the bacteria which are in the environment, stated Anders Hakansson, who is a University of Buffalo School of Medicine microbiologist. He was also the main author of the research study.
Hakansson stated that he believed that some objects are able to serve as basins where the bacteria are able to live for as long as quite a few months.
Investigators based the majority of their findings on tests which were found on articles that were in a day care center. They used nearly five stuffed toys and almost all of them ended up testing positive for S. pneumoniae. There were numerous other type surfaces which showed the presence of S. pyogenes, even after they had been cleaned. The various testing sessions were done in the early morning hours before the center had a chance to open to the public, and had been a long while since anything had experienced any human contact.
The university research team showed that bacteria growing on human skin are able to create stubborn forms that are much harder to kill than other bacteria types.
By knowing how hard to kill these bacteria types can be, Hakansson and some associates wanted to test whether orthodox methods of determining bacterial survival, using cultures which have been grown in a lab, correctly depicted the formula of the germs inside many day care centers and home nurseries.
It was known that this certain type of bacteria might not really grow inside the host. They wanted to know how well the types of bacteria could survive outside the human body.
The researchers were also able to show that certain types of bacteria, which were about a month old, were taken from tainted objects, could readily sicken mice. This was a major sign that they could also infect humans as well.
The scientists stated that it was uncertain just how much human infection with strep bacteria is due to the bacteria reservoirs on inert objects. However, they advised that cleaning procedures in day cares and homes probably need to change.
Even though strep infections tend to be not much more than a painful problem in the developed world, in areas where there is not access to antibiotics, good nutrition, or even sufficient water, these infections end up killing many children each year, through sepsis, respiratory tract infections and pneumonia.
The bacteria which cause strep throat is much more dangerous there.
By Kimberly Ruble