Bacteria and fungi on the soles of footwear worn by international airline passengers what was found and what does it mean


  • S.D. Young
  • M.R. McNeill



Passengers arriving on international flights to New Zealand bring with them a range of items that are considered biosecurity threats because these items potentially carry unwanted exotic organisms In response New Zealands border biosecurity officers have instigated a screening process at the airport to prevent these organisms entering New Zealand Microorganisms carried on footwear and clothing worn by passengers disembarking from aircraft can potentially be plant pathogens The soles of footwear worn by passengers arriving at Christchurch International Airport were sampled for bacteria and fungi Bacteria were recovered from 99 of the footwear examined while fungi were recovered from 78 of footwear Seventythree different species of bacteria were isolated with Bacillus species the most abundant genus although Kocuria palustris had the highest incidence of any of the bacterial genera recovered Based on morphological identification Penicillium Phoma spp and Trichoderma spp were the most prevalent fungal genera isolated The bacterial genera Clavibacter and Curtobacterium and the fungal genera Phoma and Botrytis were found in this study and contain species and strains that can act as plant pathogens Killing microorganisms adhering to passengers footwear is problematic since there are logistical issues in implementing an effective footwear disinfectant protocol especially during peak aircraft arrival periods




How to Cite

Young, S.D., and M.R. McNeill. “Bacteria and Fungi on the Soles of Footwear Worn by International Airline Passengers What Was Found and What Does It Mean”. New Zealand Plant Protection 62 (August 1, 2009): 409–409. Accessed February 22, 2024.



Poster Abstracts

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 > >>