Lindsay Shaw

How Are Bacteria Transmitted?

Bacteria may be transmitted in one of three ways:

1.  By Direct/Indirect Contact

  • Direct Contact - occurs through activities such as touching, hugging and kissing.
  • Indirect Contact - occurs through touching surfaces or objects that have germs on them, such as door handles, respiratory equipment, toys, and computers

2.  By Droplet Transmission

  • Occurs when small droplets exit the mouth or nose of a person when he/she coughs or sneezes.  These droplets are projected a distance of up to 2m (or 6 feet) and these droplets containing bacteria can enter the eyes, nose, or mouth of another individual or fall onto surfaces such as tables.

3.  Environmental Sources.

  • Some bacteria grow in the environment and there are some places that are more likely to be contaminated with bacteria (eg hot tubs). Pseudomonas aeruginosa grows most commonly in warm moist areas.  B. cepacia complex is found in the soil, moist areas and in onion rot.