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Author: Kampf G et al. (2014) Source: BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:37


Kampf G et al. (2014)

Poorly processed reusable surface disinfection tissue dispensers may be a source of infection

Background: Dispenser systems with pre-saturated wipes are considered a time-saving method for targeted surface disinfection. However, use-solutions with preparations based on surface-active substances may become contaminated. Possible consequences: infections and nosocomial outbreaks. The study analysed the incidence of contaminated wipes dispenser systems for surface disinfection. Additionally, it examined the effect of the surface disinfectants’ composition on the ability of isolate proliferation.

Methods: 66 wipes dispensers for surface disinfection were randomly collected in 15 healthcare facilities. The use-solutions were examined quantitatively for bacterial contamination. The focus was on preparations containing surface-active ingredients such as quaternary ammonium compounds (QAC), amines, glucoprotamines, or amphoteric surfactants.

Results: 28 wipes dispensers from 9 facilities were contaminated with approximately 107 cells per ml. Most frequently found were Achromobacter species 3 (9 facilities), Achromobacter xylosoxidans or Serratia marcescens (1 facility each). In none of the facilities, wipes dispenser underwent correct reprocessing in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions. Without exception, the contaminated use-solutions were based on surface-active substances without additional aldehyde. Preparations that also contained aldehyde or alcohol, however, were not found to be contaminated relevantly. Isolates regained their susceptibility to the surface disinfectants after 5 passages without selection pressure, but were still able to multiply in different surface disinfectants based on surface-active substances at room temperature within 7 days – independent of manufacturer and composition.

Conclusions: Solutions based on surface-active ingredients used in dispensers for surface disinfection wipes were found to be contaminated frequently and heavily. The auhtors attribute these findings to poor reprocessing of wipes dispensers and strongly recommend attaching higher priority to the reprocessing of wipes dispensers in clinical routine.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:37

Please click here to download the original study.

Read the recommendations on how to reprocess wipes dispenser systems.