I often read that bacteria and viruses can survive longer on hard surfaces than on porous ones. To a layman like myself that seems counter intuitive. I imagine they could find more suitable protection in the porous fabric than on the exposed hard surface. For example, an article I read recently pointed to a paper showing that ebola can last up to 50 days dried on glass, and but only a few hours on fabric. Can anyone explain to me why this is the case?

its a great question! the length of survival time varies from virus to virus considerably but he basic premise the it remains infectious for longer on hard as opposed to porous surfaces appears to be correct. The reason(s) are very unclear but presumably will involve greater rate of degradation and/or less stable viral particles on the porous surface.

In addition, this article - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2732559/ - gives references that highlight substratum effects on microbe growth in a biofilm (e.g., sometimes better attachment on nonpolar surfaces), and discusses some variables including type and hydrodynamics of the bug-growing medium and type of microbe (encompassing cell surface charge).

Last edited by Steve Lolait (10th Apr 2016 08:42:05)