Study: Bacteria Remain on Surfaces After Disinfection

Jan. 12, 2024
A new study from the American Journal of Infection Control says that even after adhering to disinfection routines, bacteria is still found on frequently touched surfaces

According to a Jan. 11 press release from APIC, a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) reports that microbial contamination is present—including pathogenic and potentially pathogenic bacteria—on high-touch hospital surfaces despite compliance with recommended disinfection protocols.

The study was conducted at the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System. The findings highlight the challenge of reducing healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and suggest more advanced strategies are needed to achieve effective disinfection of hospital surfaces that are frequently touched by many individuals.

The press release states that “A total of 60 different kinds of bacteria were identified across all samples, including 18 well-known human pathogens and a number of bacteria that can be pathogenic to humans under certain circumstances. The most common types of known pathogenic bacteria included Enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella aerogenes, among others. Some of the potentially pathogenic types of bacteria have been associated with central-line associated bloodstream infections, meningitis, and endocarditis. About half of the bacteria identified through these samples were also found in clinical samples collected from patients during 2022.”

Tania Bubb, PhD, RN, CIC, FAPIC, 2024 APIC president was quoted in the release saying that “This study underscores the critical value of infection prevention and control efforts in our healthcare systems. By understanding the gaps in our current disinfection protocols, we can focus on developing more effective protocols and education strategies to prevent the spread of dangerous organisms and better protect patients and healthcare workers from HAIs.”

APIC has the press release.

About the Author

Janette Wider | Editor-in-Chief

Janette Wider is Editor-in-Chief for Healthcare Purchasing News.

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