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How fast can bacteria spread and survive on surfaces?

Bacteria has the ability to survive in many habitats that other organisms cannot. Bacteria can double every 4 to 20 minutes, making them some of the fastest reproducing organisms in the world. They are 10 to 100 times larger than viruses, too!

Some of the most common bacterial infections include pneumonia, E.coli, MRSA, tonsillitis, UTI’s, and septicaemia. But how long can some of these bacterial infections last outside of the body?


The Staphylococcus Aureus bacteria is responsible for MRSA. It can even survive on porous fabric for weeks and survives for much longer on hard surfaces.

MRSA lives on the skin of about 1 in 30 people, but that’s not enough to make you ill. It would need to enter a wound of some sort to do this. Many people will never know they’ve had it before it leaves their skin.


A study took place to see how long E.coli could live on different metals. The results showed that it could survive on stainless steel for 28 days, at both refrigeration and room temperatures.

There is what’s known as gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial. Gram-positive bacteria have a thick peptidoglycan layer and no outer lipid membrane. Gram-negative bacteria have a thin peptidoglycan layer and have an outer lipid membrane.

Both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria can survive on surfaces for months if there is no interference with regular disinfection.

Regular and thorough cleaning is very important. But in day-to-day life, the efficacy of periodic cleaning is up for debate. Surfaces will become re-contaminated and pathogens will survive until the surface is cleaned again. Even then, not all may be targeted.

Antimicrobial surfaces can stay effective and working in between cleaning. By incorporating antimicrobial touch surfaces, regular, thorough cleaning, and consistent hand washing, we can help reduce and prevent the spread of bacteria in different spaces, importantly in hygiene conscious environments.

HYGI-Group products are clinically proven to kill bacteria within minutes. Incorporating these products into different environments will help with the task of creating safer, healthier spaces. Email for more information.

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