Many Hospital Infections Common Directly Outside Hospitals

A major reservoir for the most common bacteria found in hospitals may literally be right outside hospital front doors.

In an article published in the American Journal of Infection Control, researchers determined certain strains of A. baumannii and cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacteriaceae are found on surfaces directly outside of the hospital setting.

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Researchers tested cultures taken from surfaces, mostly doors from local businesses, less than 1.5 miles from six hospitals in Brooklyn, N.Y. They tested for cephalosporin resistance in Citrobacter freundii, E. coli and Enterobacter.

Several cultures had closely related genetic codes both among community sites and cultures taken in hospitals. Researchers also discovered bacteria harboring multidrug-resistant genes outside of the hospital setting. They concluded hand hygiene should be an emphasis both when people enter and when they exit hospital settings.

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