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Ball pits are often used in rehabilitation clinics by physical therapists and other rehabilitation professionals for various reasons. Previous research has shown that many seemingly inconspicuous objects in hospital settings can be fomites, or nonliving disease-carrying agents, that are particularly dangerous in hospitals due to a high density of immunocompromised individuals. We sought to find out how much bacteria can be carried in ball pits and if any of the bacteria found could be potential opportunistic pathogens. We also wanted to know whether the material that the balls were made from had an effect on either of the variables. We collected samples from the pit itself and a number of balls within the pit. Samples from balls made from both foam material and plastic were obtained. Surfaces were swabbed with sterile swabs for 30 seconds, then sealed and brought back to the UNG Biology Department for analysis. Samples were plated on tryptic soy agar (TSA) and incubated at 33 ̊C for 24 hours. Plates were then removed, examined, counted, and individual colonies were identified using the Biolog GEN III Bacterial Identification System. Opportunistic pathogens such as Streptococcus sobrinus, Bacillus mojavensis/subtilis, Mycobacterium novocastrense, Staphylococcus aureus, and Aerococcus viridans were identified.


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Biology

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3201

  • Event date
    • 23 March 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dobrusia Bialonska