Background: Environmental surfaces in health care facilities contaminated with Clostridium difficile spores can be a reservoir that contribute to transmission of hospital-acquired infections. Microfiber cleaning cloths may improve the effectiveness of surface cleaning. The objective of this study was to assess the removal and transfer of C difficile spores on surfaces cleaned by microfiber compared with cotton cloths.
Methods: C difficile spores (approximately 4.2 log(10)/site) were applied to ceramic surfaces. Microfiber or cotton cloths were used to wipe the surfaces that were sprayed with either buffer or a nonsporicidal cleaning agent. To ensure reproducible pressure and surface contact time, a drill apparatus was used. The pressure was 1.5-1.77 N, and the total number of rotations was 10. Viable counts were used to assess the efficiency of microfiber and cotton cloths in removing and transferring spores.
Results: Of 4.4 log(10)C difficile spores inoculated on a ceramic surface, microfiber and cotton cloths removed 2.4 and 1.7 log(10), respectively. Microfiber cloths containing 4.2 log(10)C difficile spores transferred 1.7 log(10) C difficile spores when used to wipe a ceramic surface compared with cotton cloths that transferred 2.4 log(10). Similarly microfiber wipes transferred fewer spores on consecutive surfaces wiped compared with cotton cloths (0.8 log(10) vs 1.80 log(10)).
Conclusion: The use of microfiber cloths may reduce the risk of C difficile spore transfer during surface cleaning.
Keywords: Cleaning; Environmental; Hospital-acquired infections.
Copyright © 2015 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.