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Presence of Staphylococcus aureus on University Dance Studio Floors and Barres: A Preliminary Investigation

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Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium associated with various infectious diseases. Not only has the bacterium been detected in sports environments, the reported incidences of S. aureus infections have steadily increased in athletic teams. However, in spite of similarities between sports and dance facilities, to our knowledge no previous study has examined the presence of this bacterium in the dance environment. We hypothesized that S. aureus would be present in a university's dance studios, and that it would be extant in higher concentrations inside versus outside the studios. Using common microbiological culturing methods, samples were gathered from floors and barres in three studios of a single university, as well as from outside floors and railings near the studios and a conference room used by dancers. Confirming our hypothesis, we detected S. aureus in every dance studio sample (0.03 to 0.38 cfu/cm 2 ). Supporting our second hypothesis, we found that average S. aureus concentrations from the three studios were significantly higher compared to both outside and conference room samples (P ≤ 0.001). The latter two locations did not yield any S. aureus concentrations. Control samples developed as expected. The results of this study suggest that S. aureus bacteria are common on the flooring and barres of university dance studios, with the bacterial concentrations possibly dependent on the hours of usage of these surfaces. Whether the presence of S. aureus in dance studios presents a health risk to dancers should be studied further.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Departments of Biological Sciences and Dance, University of California, Irvine, USA 2: Division of Athletic Training, School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, Ohio University, Grover Center E335, Athens, Ohio 45701, USA. [email protected] 3: Departments of Earth System Science and Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2014

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