Bacterial contamination of 6 frequently touched hospital objects

A study, published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, examined the bacterial contamination of common objects frequently touched by patients, visitors and healthcare workers in a hospital in Nepal.

Researchers collected 232 samples from various sites, including the surface of biometric attendance devices, elevator buttons, door handles and staircase railings. They isolated, identified and conducted antibiotic susceptibility testing of the isolates using standard microbiological techniques. They recovered 219 bacterial isolates from 181 samples.

The study shows bacterial contamination for the following objects:

Elevator buttons (researchers collected 48 isolates)
S. aureus: 22.9 percent
S. epidermidis: 20.8 percent
Enterococcus species: 8.3 percent
Diphtheroids: 10.4 percent
Micrococcus species: 14.6 percent
Escherichia coli: 6.2 percent
Pseudomonas species: 4.1 percent
Acinetobacter species: 4.1 percent

Biometric attendance devices (researchers collected 24 isolates)
S. aureus: 33.3 percent
S. epidermidis: 25 percent
Enterococcus species: 20.8 percent
Diphtheroids: 16.6 percent
Micrococcus species: 20.8 percent
Escherichia coli: 8.3 percent
Pseudomonas species: 12.5 percent
Acinetobacter species: 12.5 percent

Door handles (researchers collected 80 isolates)
S. aureus: 16.2 percent
S. epidermidis: 13.7 percent
Enterococcus species: 10 percent
Diphtheroids: 8.7 percent
Micrococcus species: 10 percent
Escherichia coli: 5 percent
Pseudomonas species: N/A
Acinetobacter species: 5 percent

Telephone sets (researchers collected 30 isolates)
S. aureus: 20 percent
S. epidermidis: 13.3 percent
Enterococcus species: 20 percent
Diphtheroids: 26.6 percent
Micrococcus species: 36.6 percent
Escherichia coli: 10 percent
Pseudomonas species: N/A
Acinetobacter species: 16.6 percent

Railing (researchers collected 20 isolates)
S. aureus: 15 percent
S. epidermidis: 5 percent
Enterococcus species: 10 percent
Diphtheroids: 20 percent
Micrococcus species: 10 percent
Escherichia coli: 5 percent
Pseudomonas species: N/A
Acinetobacter species: 5 percent

Water taps (researchers collected 30 isolates)
S. aureus: 10 percent
S. epidermidis: 6.6 percent
Enterococcus species: 10 percent
Diphtheroids: 23.3 percent
Micrococcus species: 13.3 percent
Escherichia coli: 6.6 percent
Pseudomonas species: 6.6 percent
Acinetobacter species: 13.3 percent

Staphylococcus aureus was the most common bacterial isolate. Of the S. aureus isolates, 29.5 percent were multidrug resistant and 31.8 percent were biofilm producers.

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