Persistence and Transfer of Enveloped Phi 6 Bacteriophage on Hotel Guest Room Surfaces
The hotel guest room environment can be contaminated through touch or aerosols and become a source of viral transmission. Understanding the extent of respiratory virus survival and persistence on hotel guest surfaces can help the lodging industry develop an effective cleaning and disinfecting strategy and focus on hot spots. This study investigated the survival and persistence of enveloped phi 6 bacteriophages (a surrogate of SARS-CoV-2) on hotel guest room surface coupons for 30 days at 23 ± 2 °C and determined the transfer rate between fomites and hands.
This study showed that phi 6 persisted for up to 2 days on the carpet, hotel room curtain, and leather coupon samples. Phi 6 persisted for up to 3 days on hotel room beds, wooden desks, door handles, and hotel amenities and up to 4 days on light switches, remote controls, and bathroom faucets. When a high level of phi 6 (10^7 PFU/ml) was used, the transfer rate from hands to surfaces ranged from 23% to 58% and the transfer rate from fomites to hands ranged from 50% to 74%. With a low level of phi 6 (10^3 PFU/ml), the transfer rate from hands to surfaces ranged from 14% to 38% and the transfer rate from fomites to hands ranged from 20% to 45%. The results revealed that phi 6 could be transmitted via hotel room surfaces. Our study results can be used as a tool to design robust and effective training strategies for the lodging industry.
Publication: Journal of Environmental Health
Published: October 2023
- Zahra H. Mohammad, PhD, Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership, University of Houston
- Thomas A. Little, Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership, University of Houston
- Sujata A. Sirsat, MS, PhD, Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership, University of Houston