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Microbiological Contamination of Bed Linen and Staff Uniforms in a Hospital

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DOI: 10.4236/aim.2013.37069    5,321 Downloads   9,017 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT


Hospital linen is clearly recognized as a potential reservoir for microorganisms and could be a vector of disease transmission. The aim of this study was to isolate, count and identify fungi and bacteria from different kinds of clean and dirty linen in a hospital. Microbiological samples have been collected on clean bed linen (n = 200), dirty bed linen (n = 192) and staff uniforms (n = 192) by using contact plates. 55% of samples from clean bed linen were contaminated before contact with the patient, with a mean count of 3 cfu/25 cm2 (range: 1-117 cfu) when contaminated. Virtually all samples from dirty bed linen carried microorganisms, with a mean count of 23 cfu/25 cm2 (range 1-191 cfu). In addition, staff hospital uniforms showed the highest contamination rates in the study, with an average of 45 cfu/25 cm2 (range: 1-218 cfu). Microbial species were mostly bacteria commonly found in the environment or on human skin, such as staphylococci or micrococci. Nevertheless, 57% of the identified species may be opportunistic pathogens for humans, representing a risk for people with a deficient or weakened immune system, especially in cases of superinfection. Since contamination of linen seems to occur after washing, actively antimicrobial textiles would represent a valuable measure to prevent textiles from being a vehicle for transfer of microorganisms.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

A. Pinon, J. Gachet, V. Alexandre, S. Decherf and M. Vialette, "Microbiological Contamination of Bed Linen and Staff Uniforms in a Hospital," Advances in Microbiology, Vol. 3 No. 7, 2013, pp. 515-519. doi: 10.4236/aim.2013.37069.

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