Evaluation of the Quality of Reprocessing of Gastrointestinal Endoscopes

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2015 Sep;36(9):1017-23. doi: 10.1017/ice.2015.123. Epub 2015 May 29.


Objectives: To evaluate the quality of gastrointestinal endoscope reprocessing and discuss the advantages of microbiological surveillance testing of these endoscopes.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of the results of endoscope sampling performed from October 1, 2006, through December 31, 2014, in a gastrointestinal endoscopy unit of a teaching hospital equipped with 89 endoscopes and 3 automated endoscope reprocessors, with an endoscopy quality assurance program in place. The compliance rate was defined as the proportion of the results classified at target or alert levels according to the French guidelines. A multivariate analysis (logistic regression) was used to identify the parameters influencing compliance.

Results: A total of 846 samples were taken. The overall compliance rate was 86% and differed significantly depending on the sampling context (scheduled or not scheduled), the type of endoscope, and the season. No other parameter was associated with compliance. A total of 118 samples carried indicator microorganisms such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Enterobacteriaceae, and Candida sp.

Conclusion: The systematic use of an automated endoscope reprocessor does not provide totally satisfactory compliance. Microbiological surveillance is indispensable to monitor reprocessing, reinforce good practices (endoscopes, reprocessing units), and detect endoscopes requiring early technical maintenance.

MeSH terms

  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Decontamination / methods
  • Decontamination / standards*
  • Disinfection / methods
  • Disinfection / standards*
  • Endoscopes, Gastrointestinal / microbiology*
  • Enterobacteriaceae / isolation & purification
  • Equipment Contamination / prevention & control*
  • France
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / isolation & purification
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia / isolation & purification