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Environmental sampling of innate hospital surfaces: a survey of current practices and the need for guidelines

  • Author Footnotes
    † These authors contributed equally.
    A.S. van der Schoor
    Footnotes
    † These authors contributed equally.
    Affiliations
    Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    † These authors contributed equally.
    M. Boyle
    Footnotes
    † These authors contributed equally.
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, Ireland
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  • A.F. Voor in ‘t holt
    Affiliations
    Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    ‡ These authors contributed equally as senior authors.
    M.C. Vos
    Footnotes
    ‡ These authors contributed equally as senior authors.
    Affiliations
    Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    ‡ These authors contributed equally as senior authors.
    H. Humphreys
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Address: RCSI Education and Research Centre, Microbiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin D09 YD60, Ireland. Tel.: +35-31-8093708; fax: +35-31-8092871.
    Footnotes
    ‡ These authors contributed equally as senior authors.
    Affiliations
    Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, Ireland
    Search for articles by this author
  • on behalf ofESCMID Study Group for Nosocomial Infections
  • Author Footnotes
    † These authors contributed equally.
    ‡ These authors contributed equally as senior authors.
Published:August 05, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2022.07.024

      Summary

      Background

      Surfaces in healthcare facilities can act as reservoirs of infection. Currently, no standardized protocol on when and how to sample hospital surfaces exists.

      Aim

      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.

      Methods

      The survey consisted of 26 questions on sample collection and processing for a number of healthcare relevant bacterial species.

      Findings

      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.

      Conclusion

      The results of our survey highlight the inconsistencies in environmental sampling between and within countries, and the need for guidance and consensus.

      Keywords

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