Is bacteriologic surveillance in endoscope reprocessing stringent enough?

Endoscopy. 2009 Oct;41(10):913-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0029-1215086. Epub 2009 Sep 11.


Endoscopes, including duodenoscopes, are medical devices that are frequently associated with outbreaks of nosocomial infections. We investigated an outbreak of multidrug-resistant PSEUDOMONAS AERUGINOSA sepsis affecting three patients after endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreaticography (ERCP). Epidemiologic investigation supplemented by molecular typing revealed that one ERCP scope was the source of infection with P. AERUGINOSA. No contamination with this microorganism was found after screening of washer-disinfectors, connecting tubes, and environmental surfaces in the endoscopy center. PSEUDOMONAS isolates from blood and endoscope channels before gas sterilization with ethylene oxide (ETO) were characterized by molecular typing as "linked isolates". Though the current surveillance system did not prevent the infections in three patients, our microbiological surveillance protocol with routine culturing of endoscopes was helpful in detecting the source of contamination and probably avoided numerous cross-contaminations in other patients who underwent ERCP procedures with endoscopes.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross Infection / microbiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Duodenoscopes / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pseudomonas Infections / etiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / prevention & control*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification
  • Sepsis / microbiology*