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Open AccessArticle

Quantitation of Risk Reduction of E. coli Transmission after Using Antimicrobial Hand Soap

1
Department of Biosystem and Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
2
Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, OH 45040, USA
3
Procter & Gamble Technology (Beijing) Co., Ltd., Beijing 101312, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(10), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9100778
Received: 6 July 2020 / Revised: 28 August 2020 / Accepted: 1 September 2020 / Published: 23 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Human Pathogens)
Handwashing with soap is an effective and economical means to reduce the likelihood of Escherichia coli infection from indirect contact with contaminated surfaces during food preparation. The purpose of this study was to conduct a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) to evaluate the risk of infection from indirect contact with fomites contaminated with E. coli after hand washing with antimicrobial hand soaps. A Monte Carlo simulation was done with a total of 10,000 simulations to compare the effectiveness of two antimicrobial and one control (non-antimicrobial) bar soaps in reducing the exposure and infection risk compared to no hand washing. The numbers of E. coli on several fomites commonly found in household kitchens, as well as the transfer rates between fomites and onto fingertips, were collected from the literature and experimental data. The sponsor company provided the E. coli survival on hands after washing with antimicrobial and control soaps. A number of scenarios were evaluated at two different exposure doses (high and low). Exposure scenarios included transfer of E. coli between meat-to-cutting board surface-to-hands, meat-to-knife surface-to-hands, and from a countertop surface-to-hands, kitchen sponge-to-hands, hand towel-to-hands, and dishcloth-to-hands. Results showed that the risks of illness after washing with the control soap was reduced approximately 5-fold compared to no handwashing. Washing with antimicrobial soap reduced the risk of E. coli infection by an average of about 40-fold compared with no handwashing. The antimicrobial soaps ranged from 3 to 32 times more effective than the non-antimicrobial soap, depending on the specific exposure scenario. Importance: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the yearly incidence rate of Shiga Toxin producing E. coli infections is about 1.7/100,000, with about 10% of cases leading to life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome and 3–5% leading to death. Our findings confirm handwashing with soap reduces the risks associated with indirect transmission of E. coli infection from contact with fomites during food preparation. Further, in these exposure scenarios, antimicrobial soaps were more effective overall than the non-antimicrobial soap in reducing exposure to E. coli and risk of infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: quantitative microbial risk assessment; QMRA; foodborne illness; Escherichia coli; fomites; handwashing; antimicrobial soap quantitative microbial risk assessment; QMRA; foodborne illness; Escherichia coli; fomites; handwashing; antimicrobial soap
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Adhikari, U.; Esfahanian, E.; Mitchell, J.; Charbonneau, D.; Song, X.; Lu, Y. Quantitation of Risk Reduction of E. coli Transmission after Using Antimicrobial Hand Soap. Pathogens 2020, 9, 778.

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