The Prevalence of Human Parainfluenza Virus 1 on Indoor Office Fomites

Research paper by Stephanie A. Boone, Charles P. Gerba

Indexed on: 09 Feb '10Published on: 09 Feb '10Published in: Food and Environmental Virology


The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential role of fomites in human parainfluenza virus 1 (HPIV1) transmission by assessing the occurrence of HPIV1 on surfaces in an adult setting (office). In 2004, a total of 328 fomites from 12 different office buildings in five different cities were evaluated for HPIV1 viral RNA. HPIV1 was isolated using reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) and detected on 37% of all office fomites. HPIV1 RNA was frequently isolated on desk tops (47%), and infrequently isolated on light switches (19%). Data revealed a statistically significant difference between the percentage of HPIV1 positive fomites in office cubicles and conference rooms (Chi-square P < 0.011, Fisher’s Exact P = 0.054). A statistically significant difference was also found among positive fomites in different buildings (Chi-square P < 0.011). HPIV1 was consistently isolated on various indoor fomites in the 12 office buildings assessed during 2004, a low HPIV incident year.