Environmental contamination makes an important contribution to hospital infection

J Hosp Infect. 2007 Jun;65 Suppl 2:50-4. doi: 10.1016/S0195-6701(07)60015-2.

Abstract

Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) are capable of surviving for days to weeks on environmental surfaces in healthcare facilities. Environmental surfaces frequently touched by healthcare workers are commonly contaminated in the rooms of patients colonized or infected with MRSA or VRE. A number of studies have documented that healthcare workers may contaminate their hands or gloves by touching contaminated environmental surfaces, and that hands or gloves become contaminated with numbers of organisms that are likely to result in transmission to patients. Pathogens may also be transferred directly from contaminated surfaces to susceptible patients. There is an increasing body of evidence that cleaning or disinfection of the environment can reduce transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens. Because routine cleaning of equipment items and other high-touch surfaces does not always remove pathogens from contaminated surfaces, improved methods of disinfecting the hospital environment are needed. Preliminary studies suggest that hydrogen peroxide vapour technology deserves further evaluation as a method for decontamination of the environment in healthcare settings.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clostridium difficile / growth & development
  • Cross Infection / etiology*
  • Decontamination / methods*
  • Decontamination / standards
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Enterococcus / growth & development
  • Equipment Contamination*
  • Fomites / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / therapeutic use
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Volatilization

Substances

  • Hydrogen Peroxide