Dispersal of non-sporeforming anaerobic bacteria was studied. Skin samples were taken from the subjects, and dispersal from different parts of the body was examined.
The number of anaerobic bacteria dispersed was not correlated to their density on the surface of skin area exposed. The highest density of anaerobic bacteria on the skin was found in the face and upper trunk, but the highest yield of anaerobic bacteria dispersed came from the lower trunk.
The dominant anaerobic bacteria dispersed were Propionibacterium acnes, but Propionibacterium avidum, Propionibacterium granulosum and Gram-positive cocci were also isolated from the dispersal samples. Peptococcus magnus was the most common coccus isolated. For the less frequently isolated bacteria, the best correlation was found between the perineal flora and airborne bacteria.
A comparison was also made of bacterial dispersal by naked and dressed subjects. The dispersal of both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria was higher when the subjects were dressed in conventional operating theatre cotton clothing than when they were naked.
The increased dispersal of anaerobic bacteria when the subjects were dressed was mainly due to increased dispersal of Propionibacterium sp.