Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Passing the ball may also pass disease

Date:
July 2, 2013
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Researchers have demonstrated that basketballs and volleyballs can spread potentially dangerous germs among players. Their findings may bring a new awareness to athletes, coaches, trainers and parents regarding safe sanitation practices for athletes.

UC Irvine researchers have demonstrated that basketballs and volleyballs can spread potentially dangerous germs among players. Their findings may bring a new awareness to athletes, coaches, trainers and parents regarding safe sanitation practices for athletes.

The undergraduate independent study project was supervised by Joshua A. Cotter, a postdoctoral fellow in orthopedic surgery, and led by Brandon Haghverdian, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences and starts medical school at UC Irvine in the fall. The research was presented by graduating biological sciences student Nimesh Patel at the American College of Sports Medicine national conference in May, 2013.

Staphylococcus aureus, a germ known for causing staph infections in athletes, was selected for the study. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as MRSA, is a kind of staph that is particularly worrisome because of its resistance to many antibiotics. Athletes with MRSA infections often must endure emergency room visits, costly outpatient follow-ups, and time away from games and practice. The NCAA has initiated a campaign to help identify and prevent diseases which can be spread among athletes.

During the study, the researchers analyzed the germ threat on volleyballs and basketballs, the players' hands and the gym floor. For each phase of the study, two of the three surfaces were sterilized, and the third was left in its native state. Germicidal Ultraviolet "C" (UVC) light was used to sterilize the ball and the floor tiles, whereas hands were sanitized by washing with antibacterial soap.

Staph. aureus cultures were then sampled from all three surfaces. Next, the players dribbled and passed the ball in a specified pattern and duration to simulate actual sports play. In each study, the previously sterile surfaces accumulated more Staph. aureus through play. Moreover, the investigators discovered that Staph. aureus was capable of surviving on the sports ball after 72 hours in storeroom conditions.

"The overwhelming prevalence of Staph. aureus we encountered supports our understanding of the gym environment as a reservoir of germs," Cotter said. "Institutions, coaches, and athletes should take note of the role the sports ball can play as a vehicle for the transmission of potentially life-threatening germs."

Although not part of this research, Cotter added that other dangerous bacteria and viruses may also be spread among athletes.

Kenneth Lam and Rose Park, who both recently graduated with bachelor's degrees in biological sciences; Rose Park, a senior nursing science student; and Gregory Adams, associate adjunct professor of physiology & biophysics, contributed to the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Passing the ball may also pass disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702141518.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2013, July 2). Passing the ball may also pass disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702141518.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Passing the ball may also pass disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130702141518.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

AP (July 30, 2014) Scientists in Texas are studying the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 670 people across West Africa this year. Right now, the disease has no vaccine and no specific treatment, with a fatality rate of at least 60 percent. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins