Candace R. Shanks, Marcy A. Peteroy-Kelly
BIOS 80 (3), 105-113, (1 September 2009) https://doi.org/10.1893/011.080.0301
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of microbial contamination and antimicrobial resistance throughout a typical urban university environment. Determining the numbers of antibiotic resistant bacteria may provide insight into the continued development of antimicrobial resistance, and may lead to changes in university inhabitants' hygiene behaviors. In this study, samples of microorganisms were obtained from 35 surfaces at Pace University-NYC on three separate days. Samples were grown on plates of tryptic soy agar (TSA) and replicated onto control-plates, and plates containing either 100 µg/mL ampicillin, 1.0 µg/mL ciprofloxacin, or 1.0 µg/mL triclosan. The presence of bacterial growth on the drug containing plates after 24 hours indicated antimicrobial resistance. The restroom floors, toilet seats, computers, and cafeteria displayed the highest number of bacterial growth, 171, 301, 87, 143 colony forming units (CFUs) respectively. These sites also contained microorganisms displaying antimicrobial resistance to two or more of the antimicrobial agents. Resistance to triclosan, ciprofloxacin, and ampicillin were observed in 100% (±0), 97% (±0.16), and 68% (±0.47) of sample sites respectively. Finally, an additional study of hygiene behavior of 100 university inhabitants was conducted to observe a possible mechanism in the high level of distribution of drug resistant microorganisms throughout the university. The results of this study have shown that while 88% (±0.32) of inhabitants wash their hands, the time spent washing on average was 4.87 (±3.97) seconds - well below the 20 seconds recommended to sufficiently remove microorganisms from the hands.