The most bacteria-laden spots in public places are usually the ones that come in direct contact with human beings. When most people think of places where bacteria congregate, they think of money, phones, keyboards and door handles. Door handles, in home and in public, are the most commonly touched surfaces, and bacteria can easily be transferred from person to person this way.
Most species of Staphylococcus are harmless and are usually found on the skin and mucous membranes. There are Staph types that can cause skin infections, and it is often the cause of food poisoning. Many species of Staphylococcus can survive on dry surfaces, so transfer from a door handle is a very real danger.
Streptococcus is a form of bacteria that can be very hazardous. Many species of Streptococcus are known causes of meningitis, pneumonia and some forms of flesh-eating infections. Another infection Streptococcus is responsible for is strep throat. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for Streptococcus infections.
Though many E-coli species are a healthy part of the human digestive system, many can be hazardous. E-coli is one of the major causes for diarrhea worldwide and can also cause serious food poisoning in humans. Species of E-coli can also cause gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, meningitis, mastitis and pneumonia.
Salmonella is a zoonotic bacteria, meaning that it can be transferred between humans and non-humans. Salmonella is a leading cause of food poisoning as well as diarrhea. Salmonella can live for weeks outside of a host, up to two years in some varieties.
Campylobacter is another leading cause of diarrhea. Campylobacteriosis is one of the most common forms of bacterial infection. Campylobacteriosis can cause severe diarrhea and dysentery, leading to bloody bowel movements, cramps and fever.