Journal Article

Contamination, Disinfection, and Cross-Colonization: Are Hospital Surfaces Reservoirs for Nosocomial Infection?

Robert A. Weinstein and Bala Hota

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 39, issue 8, pages 1182-1189
Published in print October 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/424667
Contamination, Disinfection, and Cross-Colonization: Are Hospital Surfaces Reservoirs for Nosocomial Infection?

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Despite documentation that the inanimate hospital environment (e.g., surfaces and medical equipment) becomes contaminated with nosocomial pathogens, the data that suggest that contaminated fomites lead to nosocomial infections do so indirectly. Pathogens for which there is more-compelling evidence of survival in environmental reservoirs include Clostridium difficile, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and pathogens for which there is evidence of probable survival in environmental reservoirs include norovirus, influenza virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome—associated coronavirus, and Candida species. Strategies to reduce the rates of nosocomial infection with these pathogens should conform to established guidelines, with an emphasis on thorough environmental cleaning and use of Environmental Protection Agency—approved detergent-disinfectants.

Journal Article.  5446 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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