Abstract Bacterial transmission from contaminated surfaces via hand contact plays a critical role in disease spread. However, the fomite‐to‐finger transfer efficiency of microorganisms during multiple sequential surface contacts with and without gloves has not been formerly investigated. We measured the quantity of Escherichia coli on fingertips of participants after one‐to‐eight sequential contacts with inoculated plastic coupons with and without nitrile gloves. A Bayesian approach was used to develop a mechanistic model of pathogen accretion to examine finger loading as a function of the difference between E. coli on surfaces and fingers. We used the model to determine the coefficient of transfer efficiency (λ), and influence of swabbing efficiency and finger area.