January 22, 2024

Study: Hospital surfaces ridden with bacteria despite disinfection protocols

Editor's Note: 

Adherence to routine disinfection procedures may not be enough to prevent potentially harmful bacterial contamination of high-touch hospital surfaces, according to findings published January 10 in the American Journal of Infection Control. Manikins, bed rails, and workstations-on-wheels were the most contaminated surfaces.

The study involved sampling and culturing several high-touch surfaces from a single medical-surgical unit using replicate organism detection and counting (RODAC) Tryptic Soy agar plates. After sub-culturing colonies to blood agar plates and speciating using MALDI-TOF, researchers queried the local microbiology laboratory database seeking any clinical isolate match with the recovered samples. They identified 60 different types of pathogens, 18 of which were well-known and 7 of which are identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as important in healthcare settings. The clinical microbiology laboratory identified 29 of 60 hospital surface bacteria in clinical isolates.

“Several not-so-well-known pathogens are skin flora or environmental bacteria, which in the right setting, can become pathogenic and cause diseases including meningitis, brain abscess, endocarditis, and bacteremia,” researchers note.


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