A survey for the presence of Staphylococcus aureus in the infill media of synthetic turf

Andrew S. McNitt, Dianne M. Petrunak, Tomas J. Serensits

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Second International Conference on Turfgrass Science and Management for Sports Fields
PublisherInternational Society for Horticultural Science
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789066051089
StatePublished - Feb 2008

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture


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