Simon Parks

Simon Parks
Public Health England | HPA · HPA Microbiology Services, Porton Down

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37
Publications
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Publications

Publications (37)
Article
To quantify microbial aerosols generated by a series of laboratory accidents and to use these data in risk assessment. A series of laboratory accident scenarios have been devised and the microbial aerosol generated by them has been measured using a range of microbial air samplers. The accident scenarios generating the highest aerosol concentrations...
Article
In December 2011 and early 2012 four neonates died from Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteraemia in hospitals in Northern Ireland. To assess whether P. aeruginosa was associated with the neonatal unit taps and whether waterborne isolates were consistent with patient isolates. Thirty taps and eight flow straighteners from the relevant hospitals were categ...
Article
Nosocomial infection of health-care workers during outbreaks of respiratory infections (eg, influenza A H1N1 [2009]) is a great concern for public health policy makers. WHO-defined aerosol generating procedures (AGPs; eg, bronchoscopy, non-invasive ventilation) are thought to increase risk of aerosol transmission to health-care workers, but data to...
Article
Full-text available
The global pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to an international thrust to study pathogenesis and evaluate interventions. Experimental infection of hamsters and the resulting respiratory disease is one of the preferred animal models since clinical...
Article
Background: A multinational outbreak of Mycobacterium chimaera endocarditis following cardiac surgery has been attributed to the use of heater-cooler units (HCUs) during cardiopulmonary bypass. It is hypothesized that mycobacteria can be transmitted to the surgical site via the aerosolization of contaminated water from within the unit. In the Unite...
Article
Aims: This study investigated the efficacy of Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour (HPV) at inactivating Hazard Group 3 bacteria that have been presented dried from their growth medium to present a realistic challenge. Methods and results: HPV technology (Bioquell) was used to decontaminate a class III microbiological safety cabinet containing biological in...
Article
Full-text available
Bioaerosol emissions arising from biowaste treatment are an issue of public concern. To better characterise the bioaerosols, and to assess a range of measurement methods, we aerosolised green waste compost under controlled conditions. Viable and non-viable Andersen samplers, cyclone samplers and a real time bioaerosol detection system (Spectral Int...
Article
A novel dual excitation wavelength based bioaerosol sensor with multiple fluorescence bands called Spectral Intensity Bioaerosol Sensor (SIBS) has been assessed across five contrasting outdoor environments. The mean concentrations of total and fluorescent particles across the sites were highly variable being the highest at the agricultural farm (2....
Article
Full-text available
Formaldehyde fumigation is the most widely used method for terminal decontamination of biosafety cabinets in the UK. International standards define volumes of Formalin and water to be used for an effective fumigation. However, no published information is available showing that these levels are appropriate or effective. Studies have been undertaken...
Article
The role of heater cooler units (HCUs) in the transmission of Mycobacterium chimaera during open heart surgery has been recognised since 2013. Subsequent investigations uncovered a remarkable global outbreak reflecting the wide distribution of implicated devices. HCUs are an essential component of cardiopulmonary bypass operations and their withdra...
Article
Background: An urgent UK investigation was launched to assess risk of invasive Mycobacterium chimaera infection in cardiothoracic surgery and a possible association with cardiopulmonary bypass heater-cooler units following alerts in Switzerland and the Netherlands. Methods: Parallel investigations were pursued: i) identification of cardiopulmona...
Chapter
The control of microbial aerosols is the major driver in the design of microbiological containment laboratories. The provision of a negative‐pressure laboratory area with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered exhausted ventilation system is intended to prevent the escape of infectious aerosols from the facility. The use of directional a...
Article
Aims: This study aims to investigate the aerosol release of a Bacillus anthracis spore surrogate from two different types of drum whilst playing, by; a) Quantifying the number of spores aerosolised during playing; b) Investigating spore recovery from drums over long time periods, and c) Measuring differences between a) and b) for two different dru...
Article
Full-text available
Hospital tap water is a recognised source of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. UK guidance documents recommend measures to control/minimise the risk of P. aeruginosa in augmented care units but these are based on limited scientific evidence. An experimental water distribution system was designed to investigate colonisation of hospital tap components. P. aeru...
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Full-text available
In-life imaging of animals challenged experimentally with infectious agents greatly enhances the quality of data gained from a pathogenesis or efficacy study. This additional information also presents an opportunity to address ethical issues by refining the studies and reducing the number of animals used. Both magnetic resonance (MR) and computed t...
Article
The aim of this study was to quantify re-aerosolisation of microorganisms caused by walking on contaminated flooring to assess risk factors to those accessing areas contaminated with pathogenic organisms, for example spores of Bacillus anthracis. Industrial carpet and PVC floor coverings were contaminated with aerosolized spores of Bacillus atropha...
Article
Full-text available
Laboratory containment systems are designed to remove potentially infectious aerosolized particles from the worker’s environment. However, little evidence on the quantities of aerosol generated during common microbiological practices exists. This study’s objective was to measure aerosol and splash contamination during the microbiology techniques of...
Article
Background Understanding Staphylococcus aureus dispersal from human carriers is vital for preventing transmission and colonization of this organism in health care settings. This study investigated the S aureus supershedder hypothesis in relation to attributes of healthy volunteers. Methods Microbial aerosol generation from volunteers was quantifie...
Article
Full-text available
Positive pressure suits are widely used at BSL-4 to protect operators from contact with microbiological agents. As there is the potential for the outside of the suits to become contaminated during use, they must be decontaminated prior to final exit from the high-containment laboratory. Chemical showers are used to remove biological material from s...
Article
Full-text available
Nosocomial infection of health-care workers (HCWs) during outbreaks of respiratory infections (e.g. Influenza A H1N1 (2009)) is a significant concern for public health policy makers. World Health Organization (WHO)-defined 'aerosol generating procedures' (AGPs) are thought to increase the risk of aerosol transmission to HCWs, but there are presentl...
Article
Environmental air sampling was evaluated as a method to detect the presence of M. bovis in the vicinity of infected badgers and their setts. Airborne particles were collected on gelatine filters using a commercially available air sampling instrument and tested for the presence of M. bovis using bacteriological culture and real-time PCR. The sensiti...
Article
Noroviruses are a leading cause of gastrointestinal disease and are of particular concern in healthcare settings such as hospitals. As the virus is reported to be environmentally stable, effective decontamination following an outbreak is required to prevent recurrent outbreaks. To investigate the use of hydrogen peroxide vapour to decontaminate a n...
Article
Full-text available
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are required to minimize the release of microorganisms from laboratories and other settings. This study was carried out to assess whether a range of microorganisms captured on HEPA filters would survive under normal operating conditions. Bacillus atrophaeus (NCTC 10073), Staphylococcus epidermidis (NCI...
Chapter
A range of suits are available to provide operator protection against biological and chemical agents. These suits are composed of various impervious, non-absorbent materials that are used to reduce the attachment or retention of chemical or biological agents. The properties of the suits and their composite materials have both advantages and disadva...
Article
This study assessed the efficacy of two commonly used gaseous disinfection systems against high concentrations of a resistant viral surrogate in the presence and absence of soiling. MS2 bacteriophage suspensions were dried on to stainless steel carriers and exposed to hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) and vapour hydrogen peroxide (VHP) gaseous disinfe...
Article
Full-text available
The Coriolis δ air sampler manufactured by Bertin Technologies (France) is a continuous air sampler, dedicated to outdoor monitoring of airborne spores and pollen grains. This high-volume sampler is based on patented Coriolis technology delivering a liquid sample. The air is drawn into a conical vial in a whirling type motion using suction; particl...
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Full-text available
The aim of this study was to quantify microbiologically the operator protection factor (OPF) and measure the extent of cross-contamination provided by a new Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) containment level 4 cabinet line system (glove box line). To accomplish this goal, the cabinet line was filled with microbial tracer aerosol, an...
Article
The performance of a duct-mounted air disinfection system, designed to reduce airborne pathogens in the hospital environment, was determined using a new testing methodology. The methodology places the equipment in a test duct, a microbial aerosol is generated and then sampled simultaneously before and after the test system. This allows a percentage...
Article
Full-text available
Biosafety Level 3 (BL-3) laboratories are designed to prevent the escape of pathogenic microorganisms by operating at negative pressure so that if microorganisms become airborne, they remain within the laboratory. However, the authors are not aware of any published evidence or international guidance on the level of pressure differential required fo...
Article
Tests for airborne movement of anthrax spores downwind from three heavily contaminated carcass sites were carried out under a range of wind conditions. Anthrax spores were detected in just three of 43 cyclone or gelatin filter air samples taken at distances of 6, 12 and 18 m from the sites. In addition, nine positives resulted during sampling sessi...
Article
Tests described in this paper show that gelatine membrane filters used in the MD8 microbiological air sampling system collected monodispersed aerosols between 0.7 and 1.0 microns containing viable Bacillus subtilis var. niger spores, with an efficiency of 99.9995%. Gelatine membrane filters linked to the MD8 control pump system were as effective as...
Article
The Biotest RCS Plus air sampler was compared with the well-established Casella slit sampler for the quantitative analysis of the microbiological content of air. The results of the tests reported here show that the RCS Plus sampling efficiency is similar to that of the Casella sampler over the range of particles likely to be encountered in the envi...