Buses Disinfection in Greater Manchester
Study conducted by microbiologist Paul Metwele, who took 80 swabs across London’s public transport network resulted in a shocking discovery.
Data compiled by Stavely Head and collected by microbiologists at London Metropolitan University brings this invisible bacteria into spotlight.
Adopting UV lighting, the “London Under the Microscope” project recognizes 121 mould strains and different bacteria on public transport – alongside 9 bacteria species associated with antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Out of 12 superbug families identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO), London is home to some of the most dangerous.
It is safe to assume other large cities in the United Kingdom like Manchester will yield similar results.
Harmful bacteria commonly found on public transport
Among other relatively harmless bacteria, these were also found that raised a serious concern:
- Staphylococcus Aureus (the bacteria responsible for toxic shock syndrome)
- Klebsiella Pneumoniae
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What is Klebsiella Pneumoniae and why should I be worried?
What is it?
Klebsiella is one of the most threatening bacteria. Klebsiella microbes can cause the Klebsiella Pneumoniae infection which is a superbug antibiotics cannot fight. It was found on the Victoria line and one of the London’s Uber cabs.
It killed 16 patients in a UK hospital in 2014 and recently killed a woman in America.
What could it do?
Klebsiella on its own can cause a variety of infections, including pneumonia (a cold, fever, and breathing problems),
urinary tract infections, septicaemia (a high temperature, chills faintness and breathing problems), meningitis and diarrhoea. The Klebsiella Pneumoniae infection can cause death when facing a weak immune system.
How can it be combated?
Klebsiella does not usually infect healthy people. However, it can be a problem if transmitted between sick patients in hospitals, or between people anywhere who are ill and have weakened immune systems.
Therefore, proper hygiene is a must.
Other antibiotic susceptible bacteria
As well as drug-resistant bacteria, human faeces were found on hand rails and across seats. Other germs are shown in a cacophony of colour, spread out like spray-paint across London public transport systems. Bacteria from mice and rats appeared on tube lines, along with traces of bacteria from sewage.
Doctor Matewele told WIRED of his astonishment at the sheer variety of bacteria he found. “[Surprise] is an understatement. We were totally confounded. The diversity of bacteria growing on the objects was quite a shock,” he said.
While the antibiotic sensitivity tests that were performed were limited, if these observations were to be realised on a wider scale, it could hint at a serious problem.
“Not only did we find potentially life-threatening bacteria which behaved like super-bugs when tested against antibiotics, but other forms of mould and bacteria that can be harmful to human health were discovered as part of this research,” added Dr Matewele.
Visit our Trams Disinfection in Greater Manchester for related content.
“The bacteria does not usually affect healthy people. It becomes a problem if transmitted between sick patients in hospitals and between people with compromised immune systems. The infection can cause urinary tract infections, pneumonia, septicemia, meningitis, and diarrhoea. Therefore, proper hygiene is a must.”
Taxis in the capital turned out to be cleaner than tube lines – with 14 living bacteria found on average in each cab tested. Of these bacteria, teams found Staphylococcus Aureus, Aeromonas Veronii, which can cause pneumonia and meningitis. Traces of faeces and salmonella were also detected.
Overall, buses came out as the cleanest transport option in the capital, with the least amount of bacteria found – 37 in total. The tube lines had 95 different varieties, and taxis in London around 40.
So far the only class of bacteria isolated was what’s known as class II. Matewele warns of a potential problem when this bacteria transforms. “If class III bacteria were to be quarantined, resistance transfer may become a major issue. Individuals with compromised immune system are at risk and so are vulnerable people in wards if visited by carriers of some the bacteria.”
Doctor Matewele hopes the results of these swabs will lead to enhanced cleanliness on public transportation: “It may help London Transport to check and monitor their disinfection procedures,” he says, “They can check if the methods and chemicals used are effective.”
The next time you will travel across the heart of this city, remember its dirty underbelly.
South Korea, China and other countries that use ozone
Chinese government used ozone treatment to reduce the spread of the virus from public areas and were successful in their endeavour. It was also proven very effective during the SARS outbreak in 2003.
Same as with nurseries, ozone:
- Gets rid of coronavirus – COVID-19 with 100% effectiveness
- Eliminates mites along with their droppings
- Removes allergens, viruses, bacteria
- Is 50 times more effective and 3000 times faster than chlorine
- Gets rid of bad odour
- Is one of the most effective methods of disinfection and sterilisation
- Destroys fungi, spores, moulds
After the treatment, ozone decomposes into oxygen gas leaving no by-products.
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