Friday, April 15, 2016

Antimicrobial TV Remote Controls and Hotel Rooms: Public Health Hazard?

I was recently staying in a posh New  York City hotel and noticed the 'antimicrobial' TV remote control. Intrigued, I did a bit of research. I found this article on antimicrobial television remote controls in the Daily Mail from the UK.

On a more academic level, a recent scientific publication in the Journal of Environmental Health highlights the potential microbial 'threat' of hotel room items. Coliforms (fecal bacteria) were recovered from 36% of surfaces with high prevalence being recovered from the comforter, TV remote, bathroom countertop, faucet, and toilet seat. Oxacillin-resistant bacteria were recovered from 19% of surfaces with 46% of isolates confirmed as MRSA.

Has one ever heard of a point source outbreak from a TV remote control? Microbes are ubiquitous and antimicrobial TV remotes are a gimmick. We do not live in a germ-free world so fear not the TV remote control.

In my professional opinion, the public health impact of antimicrobial TV remote controls is nil.