A SURVEY FOR THE PRESENCE OF STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS IN THE INFILL MEDIA OF SYNTHETIC TURF
Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is a common inhabitant of human skin and can cause various types of skin or soft tissue infections. Strains of S. aureus that are resistant to common antibiotics are becoming more common, particularly in medical settings. There have been reports of methicillin-resistant S. aureus causing infection in athletes. With the increase in athlete infections, there is growing concern regarding the role of infilled turf systems. While there is some indication that the spread of these bacteria may be more closely associated with locker room activity and skin to skin contact compared to athlete contact with the infill system conclusive evidence about the role of synthetic turf in the spread of this bacterium is not currently available. The objective of this survey was to sample the total microbial population of several infilled synthetic turf systems and determine if S. aureus was present. Infill material was sampled from twenty fields. Fiber samples were also collected. In addition, other surfaces from public areas and from an athletic training facility and natural turfgrass rootzones were also sampled. Each sample was analyzed for total organism populations and for the presence Staphylococcus. There were generally lower numbers of total microbes present in the infill or fibers of the synthetic turf systems tested compared to natural turfgrass rootzones and S. aureus was not found on any of the playing surfaces.
McNitt, A.S., Petrunak, D.M. and Serensits, T.J. 2008. A SURVEY FOR THE PRESENCE OF STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS IN THE INFILL MEDIA OF SYNTHETIC TURF. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 783:567-572
artificial turf, athlete injury, athlete infection, microbial population