Fomites are known to play a role in the transmission of pathogens. Quantitative analysis of the parameters that affect sample recovery efficiency (SRE) at the limit of detection of viruses on fomites will aid in improving quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) and infection control. The variability in SRE as a function of fomite type, fomite surface area, sampling time, application media, relative humidity (rH), and wetting agent was evaluated. To quantify the SRE, bacteriophage P22 was applied onto fomites at average surface densities of 0.4±0.2 and 4±2 PFU/cm2. Surface areas of 100 and 1,000 cm2 of nonporous fomites found in indoor environments (acrylic, galvanized steel, and laminate) were evaluated with premoistened antistatic wipes. The parameters with the most effects on the SRE were sampling time, fomite surface area, wetting agent, and rH. At time zero (the initial application of bacteriophage P22), the SRE for the 1,000-cm2 fomite surface area was, on average, 40% lower than that for the 100-cm2 fomite surface area. For both fomite surface areas, the application medium Trypticase soy broth (TSB) and/or the laminate fomite predominantly resulted in a higher SRE. After the applied samples dried on the fomites (20 min), the average SRE was less than 3%. A TSB wetting agent applied on the fomite improved the SRE for all samples at 20 min. In addition, an rH greater than 28% generally resulted in a higher SRE than an rH less than 28%. The parameters impacting SRE at the limit of detection have the potential to enhance sampling strategies and data collection for QMRA models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology