hand holding a magnifying glass

How long can staphylococcus (staph) bacteria survive on a surface? When was it discovered? Is it harmless, harmful, or resistant to most types of antibiotics?

These questions as they pertain to many different pathogens are answered in a new Germ Report just released online by OptiSolve, an imaging technology company.

For instance, the answers to the questions above are the following:

•   Staph can survive on surfaces – and potentially harm human health – for up to five months.

•   It was discovered in 1880.

•   Staph produces toxins causing moderate to severe infections and can be resistant to antibiotics.

The new Germ Report is the product of several germ experts, including:

•   Jason Tetro, author of the books The Germ Code and The Germ Files, listed as a bestseller by the “Globe and Mail” newspaper, a leading business publication in Canada

•   Dr. Shana Kelley, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Biochemistry, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto

•   Dr. Mark Pereira, Senior Research Associate at the University of Toronto

This report, which also includes videos, not only discusses specific types of germs and bacteria, it includes information on where these pathogens most often hide.

"We looked at all kinds of facilities and locations including offices, schools, hotels, even airplanes," says Brad Evans, chief operating officer of OptiSolve. "More often than not, we were surprised [at] what we found. For instance, in schools, it was the pencil sharpener handles [that] were often most covered with pathogens; in offices, finding pathogens on air vents was a surprise.

He adds that the study also found ATP monitoring system coated with germs and bacteria.

While the Germ Report was initially prepared for clients of OptiSolve, "it was suggested that we make it available so everyone can have a better idea of what they are dealing with when it comes to hidden pathogens," says Evans.