Identification of an agent suitable for disinfecting boots of visitors to the Antarctic

Curry, C. H., McCarthy, J. S., Darragh, H. M., Wake, R. A., Churchill, S. E., Robins, A. M. and Lowen, R. J. (2005) Identification of an agent suitable for disinfecting boots of visitors to the Antarctic. Polar Record, 41 1: 39-45. doi:10.1017/S0032247404003961

Author Curry, C. H.
McCarthy, J. S.
Darragh, H. M.
Wake, R. A.
Churchill, S. E.
Robins, A. M.
Lowen, R. J.
Title Identification of an agent suitable for disinfecting boots of visitors to the Antarctic
Journal name Polar Record   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1475-3057
Publication date 2005-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1017/S0032247404003961
Volume 41
Issue 1
Start page 39
End page 45
Total pages 7
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Subject 11 Medical and Health Sciences
1117 Public Health and Health Services
Abstract Studies of Antarctic fauna have led to tentative identification of a range of potential pathogens for both animals and humans. The rapid increase in visitors on tourist ships to the continent, now exceeding 10,000 per year, raises the concern that humans might transmit pathogens into and between wildlife colonies. The authors investigated the feasibility and efficacy of chemical disinfection of the microbial contamination on visitors' boots. During three voyages to penguin colonies in the Ross Sea, swabs were collected from the boots of visitors prior to landing, immediately on return to the ship, after a water wash, and after a chemical disinfectant wash using Virkon S. For the first two visits, abundant growth of bacteria was identified on boots at all three stages prior to disinfection. Following disinfection, the growth of bacteria was virtually eliminated. On the third visit, previously disinfected boots grew virtually no bacteria. After this landing the bacterial growth was substantially reduced by disinfection. These results indicate that consideration should be given to including disinfection in cleaning the boots of visitors to wildlife sites in the Antarctic to reduce the risk of translocation of microbial pathogens.
Keyword Antarctic fauna
Chemical disinfectant
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 4 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 04 Jan 2010, 09:01:15 EST by Ms May Balasaize on behalf of Faculty Of Health Sciences