Non-slip socks: a potential reservoir for transmitting multidrug-resistant organisms in hospitals?

J Hosp Infect. 2016 Nov;94(3):273-275. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2016.06.018. Epub 2016 Jun 23.


Non-slip socks are increasingly used to prevent falls in hospitals. Patients use them to walk to various parts of the hospital and also wear them in bed. Fifty-four pairs of socks and 35 environmental floor samples were obtained from seven wards in a tertiary referral hospital. Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) were detected from 46 (85%) socks and meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from five (9%). Environmental sampling cultured VRE from 24 (69%) floor samples and MRSA from six (17%) floor samples. Clostridium difficile was not detected from any sample. Non-slip socks may become contaminated with multidrug-resistant pathogens and may form a potential route for cross-transmission.

Keywords: Fall; Meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; Multidrug-resistant organisms; Non-slip sock; Vancomycin-resistant enterococci.

MeSH terms

  • Clostridioides difficile / isolation & purification
  • Clothing*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci / isolation & purification*