Dry biofilms may play a key role in spreading HAIs

A study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection examined the occurrence of dry biofilms on hospital surfaces as well as the effect they may have on the spread of hospital-acquired infections.

Researchers assessed 61 terminally cleaned items from three hospitals in the United Kingdom. They used culture-based methods and scanning electron microscopy to study the presence of dry biofilm.

Researchers found the dry biofilms to be abundant and complex. All biofilms harbored Gram-positive bacteria including pathogens associated with HAIs. Fifty-eight percent of samples grew Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

"The presence of dry biofilms harboring bacterial pathogens is virtually universal on commonly used items in healthcare settings," study authors concluded. "The role of dry biofilms in spreading HCAIs may be underestimated. The risk may be further exacerbated by inefficient cleaning and disinfection practices for hospital surfaces."

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