[1533.464] Group A Streptococcus on Toothbrushes
Lauren K. Shepard, Judith L. Rowen, Natalie Williams-Bouyer. , Galveston, TX.
BACKGROUND: Practitioners in our area tell children diagnosed with streptococcal pharyngitis to discard their toothbrushes, so we sought to determine if this advice is warranted. The literature for group A Streptococcus (GAS) growth on toothbrushes is limited, targeting children with recurrent infections. Some literature suggests that GAS can live on toothbrushes for an extended period of time, dependent on oral habits, 3 days on a rinsed toothbrush and up to 15 days on a non-rinsed toothbrush.
OBJECTIVE: Our study looks at the prevalence of GAS on toothbrushes of both the ill and well children in our clinics.
DESIGN/METHODS: Children ages two years to twenty years are asked to brush their teeth for one minute in the clinic with a new toothbrush without toothpaste. Parents are given a small survey about oral habits, including the frequency of brushing, rinsing, and type of toothpaste used, the date of the last GAS infection including any current symptoms, and the date of the last antibiotic administration. The toothbrush is placed in a sterile cover and transported to the lab for inoculation in broth, then swabbed onto selective blood agar plates to assess 1+, 2+ and 3+ growth.
RESULTS: Preliminary studies proved that group A Streptococcus could be isolated from toothbrushes handled in this manner. Surprisingly, we found that most “new” toothbrushes are not sterile and will grow different types of bacilli and Staphylococcus. Thus far, toothbrushes have been collected from 27 number of well children and 16 number of children with documented GAS infection. GAS has been isolated from one well patient and from no patient with current GAS disease.
CONCLUSIONS: These data do not support the practice of discarding toothbrushes from GAS infected children. This preliminary study will need further investigation with a larger amount of subjects and used toothbrushes collected from the home.
First Author is a House Officer
Session: Poster Session: Infectious Diseases (1:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
Date/Time: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 1:00 PM
Room: Hall D/E - Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Course Code: 1533