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See also: fómite


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Backformation from plural, from Latin fōmitēs.


fomite (plural fomites)

  1. (medicine, epidemiology) An inanimate object capable of carrying infectious agents (such as bacteria, viruses and parasites), and thus passively enabling their transmission between hosts.
    • 1930, United States Congress Congressional Edition, pages 8-9,
      20. Thomas M. England, private, Hospital Corps, was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, and served in the Army from January 6, 1899, to January 5, 1914, in the grades of private, acting hospital steward, and sergeant, first class, Hospital Corps. [] He volunteered and underwent the fomites experiment, sleeping 20 nights in infected bedding, for which experiment he received a donation of $100 from the Cuban funds allotted by General Wood for these experiments.
    • 2009, Raina M. Maier, Ian L. Pepper, Charles P. Gerba, Environmental Microbiology, page 559,
      Alternatively, such fluids may be transferred from soiled hands to fomites, or airborne organisms may impinge or settle onto fomite surfaces. Fomites may also serve as a site for the replication of a pathogen, as in the case of enteric bacteria in household sponges or dishcloths.
    • 2009, Robert I. Krasner, The Microbial Challenge: Science, Disease and Public Health, page 166,
      Fomites play a significant role in the transmission of infectious agents. The list of fomites is seemingly endless and includes objects in common use, [] Toys are fomites and contribute to illness in children wherever the toys are shared.




fomite m (plural fomiti)

  1. incitement
  2. cause, source




  1. ablative singular of fōmes