Efficacy of footwear disinfection and shoe cover use in an animal research facility

Lab Anim (NY). 2010 Apr;39(4):107-11. doi: 10.1038/laban0410-107.


Although the amounts of money and time associated with using shoe covers or other means to prevent floor contamination in animal research facilities can be substantial, the most effective policies and practices remain unknown. In this study, the authors subjected six occupied rodent holding rooms in their animal research facility to three conditions: use of disinfectant mats; use of shoe covers; and no disinfectant mats or shoe covers. The authors took bacterial culture samples from the rooms under each condition. There was no significant difference in the mean number of colony forming units (CFUs) cultured when the disinfectant mats or shoe covers were used. However, the mean number of CFUs obtained was significantly lower when either disinfectant mats or shoe covers were used than when neither was used. These results suggest that using disinfectant mats or disposable shoe covers may reduce the bacterial load on rodent holding room floors.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry / instrumentation*
  • Animal Husbandry / methods
  • Animals
  • Animals, Laboratory / microbiology*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Disposable Equipment*
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Floors and Floorcoverings
  • Hospitals, Animal / standards*
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Shoes*