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Chapter 11 : Biology of Hand-to-Hand Bacterial Transmission

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Biology of Hand-to-Hand Bacterial Transmission, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

Oliver Wendell Holmes was the first to describe the direct transmission of possible infective (“pestilent”) agents to puerperal women through the physician’s contaminated hands ( ). In 1855, he published a book entitled in the United States ( ). Nevertheless, the worldwide recognition of this relevant observation was classically attributed to Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who published a scientifically based demonstration of the role of hand disinfection in his thesis titled “The Etiology, the Concept and the Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever,” developing seminal observations carried out in the year 1847 ( ). Both authors implicated, for first time, the role of human hands contaminated with “cadaverous particles” in the deadly transmission process. Their legacy persists today, with considerable influence on current medicine, in which hand hygiene remains a liturgy in surgical procedures and is also a general measure with a pivotal role in the prevention and control of communicable diseases ( ).

Citation: del Campo R, Martínez-García L, Sánchez-Díaz A, Baquero F. 2019. Biology of Hand-to-Hand Bacterial Transmission, p 205-213. In Baquero F, Bouza E, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J, Coque T (ed), Microbial Transmission. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MTBP-0011-2016
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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Schematic representation of the intraindividual finger-to-finger transmission efficiency test, which employs a total of four fingers of the same individual. The remaining bacteria on the finger surface are recovered after the contact between fingers and immediately plated on M- agar plates, which are counted after 24 to 48 h.

Citation: del Campo R, Martínez-García L, Sánchez-Díaz A, Baquero F. 2019. Biology of Hand-to-Hand Bacterial Transmission, p 205-213. In Baquero F, Bouza E, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J, Coque T (ed), Microbial Transmission. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MTBP-0011-2016
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

The transmission chain process was explored using three volunteers—high, medium, and poor transmitters—and the foodborne L50 clone. All six possible combinations of the three volunteers were assayed.

Citation: del Campo R, Martínez-García L, Sánchez-Díaz A, Baquero F. 2019. Biology of Hand-to-Hand Bacterial Transmission, p 205-213. In Baquero F, Bouza E, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J, Coque T (ed), Microbial Transmission. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MTBP-0011-2016
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Differences in the transmission efficiency of five bacterial species using one volunteer per transmission category. The transmission pattern was repeated for the three individuals.

Citation: del Campo R, Martínez-García L, Sánchez-Díaz A, Baquero F. 2019. Biology of Hand-to-Hand Bacterial Transmission, p 205-213. In Baquero F, Bouza E, Gutiérrez-Fuentes J, Coque T (ed), Microbial Transmission. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.MTBP-0011-2016
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