Chowdhary et al. conducted a study investigating the role of healthcare worker’s hands in the transfer and spread of dry surface biofilm1. Dry surface biofilm has previously been found to be prevalent in healthcare environments and harbours multidrug resistant organisms2,3.

In this new study, it was discovered that cultivated dry surface biofilms could be transferred by hands to other surfaces. Staphylococcus aureus biofilms were formed on glass or polycarbonate surfaces. With one touch a significant number of bacterial cells were transferred to the hand. These bacteria were then transferred to other surfaces via the hands. In fact, sufficient amounts of cells to cause infection were transferred to surfaces up to nineteen times after one touch of the dry surface biofilm. 

This study highlights that dry surface biofilm can become a persistent environmental source of pathogens that can be spread rapidly to others surfaces via healthcare worker or patients’ hands with just one touch.

To prevent this spread please contact Medentech at to find out about the only US EPA approved solution for healthcare biofilms.


1Chowdhary D, Tahir S, Legge M, Hu H,  Prvan T, Johani K, Whiteley G S, O’Glasbey T, Deva A K, Vickery K. 2018. Transfer of dry surface biofilm in healthcare environment: the role of healthcare worker’s hands as vehicles. J Hosp Infect: In press.

2Vickery K, Deva A, Jacombs A, Allan J, Valente P, Gosbell IB. 2012. Presence of biofilm containing viable multiresistant organisms despite terminal cleaning on clinical surfaces in an intensive care unit. J Hosp Infect 80:52–55.

3Hu H, Johani K, Gosbell IB, Jacombs ASW, Almatroudi A, Whiteley GS, Deva AK, Jensen S, Vickery K. 2015. Intensive care unit environmental surfaces are contaminated by multidrug-resistant bacteria in biofilms: Combined results of conventional culture, pyrosequencing, scanning electron microscopy, and confocal laser microscopy. J Hosp Infect 91:35–44.