How clean is your van?

For many tradespeople, their van is their office and second home. Long hours spent on the road mean it's easy for vans to get that 'lived in' feel. Discarded packaging, stale food and animal hair are a common sight in many vans.

But within every messy van lies a hotbed of bacteria that has the potential to make you ill.

Confused.com has teamed up with the University of Essex's microbiology department to put some vans under the microscope.

Tap '+' to see info

Gear stick
Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

This bacteria forms part of the normal healthy human skin flora, but can also cause disease. It's notorious because some strains can show resistance to multiple antibiotics - so called MRSA or a 'superbug' - making infection with the MRSA variants potentially life threatening.

Cutibacterium acnes

Cutibacterium acnes

A common bacteria that can be found on the skin of most teenagers and adults. The bacteria feeds on fatty acids that are secreted from the skin. As the name suggests, this bacteria can cause acne, particularly in cases where the skin is oily. It's reported to resist some forms of antibiotics.

Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae

Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae

An emerging pathogen that can cause lung conditions, such as pneumonia, and respiratory tract infections. It's reported to show resistance to some types of antibiotics.

Streptococcus mitis

Streptococcus mitis

A bacteria that usually inhabits the mouth, nose and throat. It can sometimes cause infective endocarditis - an infection of the heart valves - if the bacteria enters the bloodstream.

Haemophilus parainfluenzae

Haemophilus parainfluenzae

An opportunistic pathogen found in mucus membranes throughout the body. This bacteria can cause endocarditis (inflammation of the heart) in children, as well as a host of respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Handbrake
Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

This bacteria forms part of the normal healthy human skin flora, but can also cause disease. It's notorious because some strains can show resistance to multiple antibiotics - so called MRSA or a 'superbug' - making infection with the MRSA variants potentially life threatening.

Moraxella catarrhalis

Moraxella catarrhalis

Often found in the respiratory tract (mucus) of healthy humans, this bacteria is also a pathogen that causes eye, ear, and respiratory tract infections. For example, it's a common cause of the conditions conjunctivitis (eye) and otitis media (ear) in children. It's often resistant to commonly used Beta-lactam antibiotics, such as penicillin and ampicillin.

Streptococcus mitis

Streptococcus mitis

A bacteria that usually inhabits the mouth, nose and throat. It can sometimes cause infective endocarditis - an infection of the heart valves - if the bacteria enters the bloodstream.

Cutibacterium acnes

Cutibacterium acnes

A common bacteria that can be found on the skin of most teenagers and adults. The bacteria feeds on fatty acids that are secreted from the skin. As the name suggests, this bacteria can cause acne, particularly in cases where the skin is oily. It's reported to resist some forms of antibiotics.

Legionella (Fluoribacter) bozemanae

Legionella (Fluoribacter) bozemanae

A widespread bacteria found commonly in the environment, it can also reside in air conditioners and hot water tanks, spreading as an airborne pathogen. This bacteria can cause Legionnaire's disease (a form of pneumonia) when inhaled.

Steering wheel
Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

This bacteria forms part of the normal healthy human skin flora, but can also cause disease. It's notorious because some strains can show resistance to multiple antibiotics - so called MRSA or a 'superbug' - making infection with the MRSA variants potentially life threatening.

Legionella (Tatlockia) micdade

Legionella (Tatlockia) micdade

A waterborne pathogen that primarily comes from air conditioners and hot water tanks. This bacteria can cause Legionnaire's disease (a form of pneumonia).

Legionella (Fluoribacter) bozemanae

Legionella (Fluoribacter) bozemanae

A widespread bacteria found commonly in the environment, it can also reside in air conditioners and hot water tanks, spreading as an airborne pathogen. This bacteria can cause Legionnaire's disease (a form of pneumonia) when inhaled.

Cutibacterium acnes

Cutibacterium acnes

A common bacteria that can be found on the skin of most teenagers and adults. The bacteria feeds on fatty acids that are secreted from the skin. As the name suggests, this bacteria can cause acne, particularly in cases where the skin is oily. It's reported to resist some forms of antibiotics.

Streptococcus mitis

Streptococcus mitis

A bacteria that usually inhabits the mouth, nose and throat. It can sometimes cause infective endocarditis - an infection of the heart valves - if the bacteria enters the bloodstream.

Indicator
Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

This bacteria forms part of the normal healthy human skin flora, but can also cause disease. It's notorious because some strains can show resistance to multiple antibiotics - so called MRSA or a 'superbug' - making infection with the MRSA variants potentially life threatening.

Streptococcus mitis

Streptococcus mitis

A bacteria that usually inhabits the mouth, nose and throat. It can sometimes cause infective endocarditis - an infection of the heart valves - if the bacteria enters the bloodstream.

Cutibacterium acnes

Cutibacterium acnes

A common bacteria that can be found on the skin of most teenagers and adults. The bacteria feeds on fatty acids that are secreted from the skin. As the name suggests, this bacteria can cause acne, particularly in cases where the skin is oily. It's reported to resist some forms of antibiotics.

Haemophilus parainfluenzae

Haemophilus parainfluenzae

An opportunistic pathogen found in mucus membranes throughout the body. This bacteria can cause endocarditis (inflammation of the heart) in children, as well as a host of respiratory diseases, such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Rothia mucilaginosa

Rothia mucilaginosa (Formerly Stomatococcus mucilaginosus)

An oral bacteria that's part of the normal flora in the human mouth and throat, it can cause problems in people with compromised immune systems. This pathogen can show resistance to certain kinds of antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones.

Headrest
Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus

This bacteria forms part of the normal healthy human skin flora, but can also cause disease. It's notorious because some strains can show resistance to multiple antibiotics - so called MRSA or a 'superbug' - making infection with the MRSA variants potentially life threatening.

Legionella (Tatlockia) micdade

Legionella (Tatlockia) micdade

A waterborne pathogen that primarily comes from air conditioners and hot water tanks. This bacteria can cause Legionnaire's disease (a form of pneumonia).

Legionella (Fluoribacter) bozemanae

Legionella (Fluoribacter) bozemanae

A widespread bacteria found commonly in the environment, it can also reside in air conditioners and hot water tanks, spreading as an airborne pathogen. This bacteria can cause Legionnaire's disease (a form of pneumonia) when inhaled.

Cutibacterium acnes

Cutibacterium acnes

A common bacteria that can be found on the skin of most teenagers and adults. The bacteria feeds on fatty acids that are secreted from the skin. As the name suggests, this bacteria can cause acne, particularly in cases where the skin is oily. It's reported to resist some forms of antibiotics.

Streptococcus mitis

Streptococcus mitis

A bacteria that usually inhabits the mouth, nose and throat. It can sometimes cause infective endocarditis - an infection of the heart valves - if the bacteria enters the bloodstream.

Want to know more?

More info on the vans that we tested Methodology Read our 'How to keep your van clean' guide