Rooms of Patients With A. baumannii Often Contaminated

Supply carts, floors, infusion pumps, ventilator touch pads are most commonly contaminated

FRIDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A considerable proportion of rooms of patients colonized or infected with multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (A. baumannii) (MDR-AB) have surfaces which are positive for A. baumannii, even in patients with a remote history of infection, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

Kerri A. Thom, M.D., from the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and colleagues investigated the presence of A. baumannii in 50 rooms of patients colonized or infected with MDR-AB. From October 2008 to January 2009, 10 surfaces were sampled from each room and evaluated for presence of A. baumannii. All environmental isolates and a clinical isolate, if available, were evaluated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

The investigators found that 48 percent of the rooms had environmental contamination at one or more sites. The most commonly contaminated surfaces included supply carts (20 percent), floors (16 percent), infusion pumps (14 percent), and ventilator touch pads (11.4 percent). Patients with a recent history of MDR-AB colonization or infection were not significantly more likely than those with a remote history to contaminate their environment (51 and 36 percent, respectively; P = 0.5). Environmental isolates were genetically similar to the patient isolates in 85 percent of cases.

"For patients with MDR-AB, the surrounding environment is frequently contaminated, even among patients with a remote history of MDR-AB," the authors write.

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