Research Articles

Pathogens Persist for Extended Periods of Time

How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review

Published: BMC Infectious Diseases, August 2006


Disinfection guidelines have evolved over time as the role of the environment in the transmission of disease has become more well understood. This literature review seeks to outline how long nosocomial pathogens can persist and remain a viable source for transmission of illnesses or infections.


Numerous nosocomial pathogens can persist on surfaces for hours, weeks, months, and even some indications of years. The survival time for MRSA has been documented to range from 7 days to 12 months, and up to 46 months for VRE. These pathogens continue to serve as a source of transmission with no preventive surface disinfection.