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

  • N. Mahida
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Microbiology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK
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  • T. Boswell
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: Department of Clinical Microbiology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, QMC Campus, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK. Tel.: +44 (0)115 9249924x61161; fax: +44 (0)115 970 9767.
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Microbiology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK
    Search for articles by this author

      Summary

      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

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