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Household cleaning and surface disinfection: new insights and strategies

Recently, new insights into the persistence of pathogens and their transfer from inanimate surfaces to humans have been gained. Hence it has become necessary to reassess the potential benefits of using disinfectants to prevent and control nosocomial infections. Based on these findings and on the increasing incidence of nosocomial infection and antibiotic resistance, the Robert Koch Institute has issued revised recommendations on household cleaning and surface disinfection in hospitals. With respect to these new guidelines the authors describe a new test method which was used to compare the efficacy of disinfection versus detergent-based cleaning procedures in reducing the microbial load on a contaminated surface. It was found that, where water or detergent only was used, the test organism Staphylococcus aureus was not eliminated from a contaminated surface, and where the mop was then used to wipe another surface, the contamination was transferred to that surface. In order to eliminate surface contamination and prevent spread, it was necessary to use an effective disinfectant product. Journal of Hospital Infection 2004; 56, supplement 2:70-75.

Author: Exner M, Vacata V, Hornel B, Dietlein E, Gebel J

Published: 01/01/2004

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Journal of Hospital Infection