Surfaces in healthcare facilities can act as reservoirs of infection. Currently, no standardized protocol on when and how to sample hospital surfaces exists.
A web-based questionnaire was devised to gain insight into current sampling practices and was distributed by email to a targeted infection prevention and control (IPC) audience.
The survey consisted of 26 questions on sample collection and processing for a number of healthcare relevant bacterial species.
The majority of respondents were clinical microbiologists or IPC practitioners, and 57.3% were from either the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or Ireland. Respondents had high self-reported knowledge, but this was not consistent with response to certain questions. There was no consensus on sample sites, either within or between countries. Indirect sampling methods were preferred for all target microorganisms, and cotton and flocked swabs were the most popular methods.
The results of our survey highlight the inconsistencies in environmental sampling between and within countries, and the need for guidance and consensus.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Journal of Hospital Infection
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- The role of the surface environment in healthcare-associated infections.Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2013; 26: 338-344
- The role of environmental contamination in the transmission of nosocomial pathogens and healthcare-associated infections.Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2018; 20: 12
- Where should one search when confronted with outbreaks of nosocomial infection?.Am J Infect Control. 2006; 34: 603-605
- Microbial monitoring of the hospital environment: why and how?.J Hosp Infect. 2012; 82: 143-151
- How to carry out microbiological sampling of healthcare environment surfaces? A review of current evidence.J Hosp Infect. 2019; 103: 363-374
- Epidemiology of carbapenem-resistant and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales in the Netherlands 2017–2019.Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2022; 11: 57
- New technique to take samples from environmental surfaces using flocked nylon swabs.J Hosp Infect. 2010; 75: 314-317
- Evolving epidemiology of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales: one hospital’s infection prevention and control response over nine years.J Hosp Infect. 2021; 112: 61-68
- Reflections on a national public health emergency response to carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales (CPE).Epidemiol Infect. 2022; : 1-19
- Surveillance atlas of infectious diseases.2022 (Available at:)[last accessed April 2022])
- Microbiology of the food chain. Horizontal methods for surface sampling.(BS EN ISO 18593)2018 (Available at:)[last accessed July 2022])
- How do we assess hospital cleaning? A proposal for microbiological standards for surface hygiene in hospitals.J Hosp Infect. 2004; 56: 10-15
Published online: August 05, 2022
Accepted: July 21, 2022
Received: May 18, 2022
© 2022 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.