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The University of Southampton
Environmental Healthcare UnitResearch


The contamination of surfaces by bacterial pathogens is an ongoing problem in both natural and built environments.

Such contamination in food handling/processing plants and in healthcare settings has demonstrated to be a serious public health concern. Work is being carried out within the EHU to improve detection methods in order to assess the prevalence of specific pathogens on different surface types.

It is important to be able to measure the viability of such pathogens to determine the risk they pose and current methods are known to be inadequate. Investigations into novel microscopy and molecular techniques are ongoing. It is essential that decontamination and disinfection procedures are efficient and studies are being carried out to assess their efficacy. Alternative approaches, such as the use of different surface materials which have bactericidal properties, are also being tested.

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