The purpose of the study was to determine if cloth stuffed toys used by children in the pediatric unit of Loma Linda University Hospital carry microbacterial pathogens that are the same type as those pathogens found in the throat of the child using the toy. A second purpose was to determine how long the selected pathogens, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Diplococcus pneumonia, survive on the same cloth toys as used in the selected hospital. Throat cultures were taken of twenty-four patients and each patient was given a cloth stuffed toy selected to be studied. Cultures of the toys were taken at twenty-four, forty-eight, and seventy-two hours after admission using the Rodac culture plate method. After incubation the culture plates were macroscopically and microscopically classified to determine if potential pathogens were present. Of the twenty-four patients studied, eight of the sample had the same potential pathogens cultured from their toys as cultured from their throats, while eight showed no potential pathogens either in their throat or on their toy. These sixteen agreed with the hypothesis that if potential pathogens are cultured from the child's throat, these also can be cultured from the cloth stuffed toy he uses; and also, if no pathogens are found in the throat, none will be found on the toy. There were eight of the twenty-four cases that disagreed with the hypothesis. In four of these cases potential pathogens were found in the throat, but not on the toy and the remaining four had potential pathogens on the toy, but none were found in the throat.

Undiluted suspensions of the selected organisms (only one organism each time) were sprayed onto two cloth stuffed toys. The Rodac plate culture was taken from the front and back of each of the toys at determined intervals. Results showed that no Diplococcus pneumonia organisms could be isolated from the toy after three hours; no Streptococcus pyogenes could be isolated from the toy after seventy- two hours; and Staphylococcus aureus was still present on the toy five days after spraying.

Thus, the amount of time intervening between when a toy is contaminated and it is handled by a person will affect the degree and kind of pathogenic organisms transmitted between the two.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Betty Lonnstrom

Second Advisor

Clarice Woodwood

Third Advisor

Charles E. Winter

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Communicable Disease Control; Play and Playthings -- utilization; Nurseries; Hospital



Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives