Many hospital linens contaminated with mold, study finds

A microbiologic surveillance study revealed about 10 percent of linens tested positive for Mucorales, a type of fungus, at 20 percent of the hospitals included in the analysis. The study was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Mucormycosis outbreaks have been linked to contaminated linen. The researchers performed fungal cultures on freshly laundered linens at 15 transplant and cancer hospitals in the U.S. At 33 percent of the hospitals, the linens were visibly unclean. At 20 percent of hospitals, Mucorales were recovered from about 10 percent of linens. 

"Studies are needed to understand the clinical significance of our findings," the study authors concluded. The researchers suggested hospitals develop practical and efficient microbiologic testing methods, criteria for interpreting culture results and reasonable performance standards at laundries and in hospitals. 

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