DETROIT, MICHIGAN -- Recent scare of MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) infections in schools and hospitals has dominated the media. Every possible preventive measure from sanitizing surfaces in gyms, dining facilities to hand washing is being taken in schools and other health care institutions because of the untreatable and often deadly antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.
Each preventive measure helps in limiting the spread of MRSA infections. Aprons, lab coats, bed sheets, and other fabric material can shield skin from direct contact with the bacterium. However not all fabrics are equal in shielding and thereby preventing the spread of bacteria.
Dr. Lopes at Microcide, Inc. in Detroit, Michigan has developed a new technique of directly visualizing bacterial attachment on fabrics. Tests with fabric swatches show that cotton fabrics tightly bind the Staph aureus bacteria to the fabric at the site of attachment while synthetic fabrics lack this property of binding the bacteria. When the bacteria are tightly bound and held in place there is less chance of these germs contaminating the next object that comes in contact with the fabric. This will help in preventing the spread of bacterial infections in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other places. The pictures of fabric swatches show that Staph aureus bacteria are bound and kept in place at the site of (inoculation) contact on cotton fabrics. The fabrics made of pure cotton are most effective binders, while pure polyester fabrics are least effective. A mixed fabric blend shows intermediate efficacy of binding the bacteria.
Explanation of Picture Above:
Figure A. Pattern of deposition of Staph. aureus on 100% cotton fabric seen by direct enumeration
method. The cells remain adhered at the site of inoculation.
Figure B.: Pattern of deposition of Staph. aureus on 65/35 polyester cotton fabric seen by direct
enumeration Method the cells slightly migrate with the inoculum fluid.
Figure C. Pattern of deposition of Staph.aureus on 100% polyester fabric seen by direct enumeration method. The cells freely move from the site of inoculum. Staph. aureus either do not bind to Rolyester fibers, or do so poorly.