GLASGOW school pupils have set a new world record - thanks to some very special bugs.

More than 5400 pupils from 62 city schools took part in a simultaneous hand hygiene lesson, beating the current record of 2147 pupils in England.

And they were helped by hundreds of larger-than-life woollen bugs, donated by avid knitters.

The hand hygiene project took weeks to plan and was arranged by Professor Tracey Howe, Deputy Chairman of Glasgow City of Science.

Professor Howe, of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), said: "I am thrilled with the response. However, the most gratifying aspect is that so many children across the city now have a better understanding of the importance of good hand hygiene.

"The synchronised session not only ensured more than 5400 primary pupils recognise the science behind hand hygiene and its significance in reducing the risk of infections, it helped them do so while having fun.

"Each of them can also say they played their part in potentially setting a world record."

The previous Guinness World Record was set by the Health Protection Agency and featured 21 English schools.

Interest in the Glasgow attempt gained momentum following the launch of an appeal to knitters, asking them to create special woolly bugs to be used during the record attempt.

The record bid was a partnership between Glasgow City of Science, GCU, NHS Scotland, Health Protection Scotland and Glasgow Science Centre.

Some 980 woolly bugs were needed and people from all walks of life across both the UK and America ensured organisers had more than they needed ahead of the lesson.

The bugs - representing TB, swine flu, the common cold, penicillium, salmonella and cholera - were used to demonstrate to pupils how certain germs and illness can easily spread.

Professor Howe added: "The response to this project from the hundreds of people who helped knit our woolly bugs and the teachers and student nurses who bought into the concept of the mass lesson - has been humbling and inspiring."

"Implementing hygiene measures such as these can protect health for life."

In order for the world record hand hygiene lesson attempt to succeed, organisers had to provide two independent witnesses at each participating school, two time keepers and one steward per 50 participants.