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Survival of Enterococci and Staphylococci on Hospital Fabrics and Plastic

All staphylococci tested survived for at least 1 day on all fabrics and plastic (Table (Table1).1). Staphylococcal viability was longest on polyester (1 to 56 days) and on polyethylene plastic (22 to >90 days). There was a tendency for the size of the microbial inoculum to increase the survival time of the CNS tested; however, even a few hundred bacteria survived for days on most fabrics (Table (Table2).2).

View TABLE 1 - Survival of staphylococci and enterococci on fabrics and plastic

View TABLE 2 - Effect of inoculum size on survival of CNS on fabrics and plastic

The shortest survival time for any enterococcus tested was 11 days (Table (Table1).1). As with the staphylococci, the enterococci lived longer on polyester and polyethylene than on other materials. In general, enterococci lived longer than staphylococci on the fabrics and plastic. Of the enterococci, E. faecium tended to survive the longest on all of the surfaces tested.

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