Contaminated hospital surfaces have been demonstrated to be an important environmental reservoir of microorganisms that can increase the risk of nosocomial infection in exposed patients. As a consequence, cleaning and disinfecting hospital environments play an important role among strategies for preventing healthcare-associated colonization and infections. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether adenosine triphosphate (ATP) presence, measured by bioluminescence methods, can predict microbiological contamination of hospital surfaces. The study was carried out between September and December 2012 at the University Hospital "P. Giaccone" of Palermo. A total of 193 randomly selected surfaces (tables, lockers, furnishings) were sampled and analyzed in order to assess ATP levels (expressed as relative light units or RLU) and aerobic colony count (ACC) or presence of S. aureus. ACC had median values of 1.85 cfu/cm2(interquartile range = 4.16) whereas ATP median was 44.6 RLU/cm2(interquartile range = 92.3). Overall, 85 (44.0%) surfaces exceeded the established microbial benchmark: 73 (37.8%) exceeded the 2.5 cfu/cm2ACC standard, 5 (2.6%) surfaces were positive for S. aureus and 7 (3.6%) showed both the presence of S. aureus and an ACC of more than 2.5 cfu/cm2. ACC and bioluminescence showed significant differences in the different surface sites (p < 0.001). A significant correlation was found between ACC and RLU values (p-value < 0.001; R 2= 0.29) and increasing RLU values were significantly associated with a higher risk of failing the benchmark (p < 0.001). Our data suggest that bioluminescence could help in measuring hygienic quality of hospital surfaces using a quick and sensitive test that can be an useful proxy of microbial contamination; however, further analysis will be necessary to assess the cost-efficacy of this methodology before requiring incorporation in hospital procedures.
|Numero di pagine||5|
|Rivista||Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2014|
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