Thursday, February 16, 2012

Speaking of fomites

Do mobile phones of patients, companions and visitors carry multidrug-resistant hospital pathogens?

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: Significantly higher rates of pathogens (39.6% vs 20.6%, respectively; P = .02) were found in mobile phones of patients' (n = 48) versus the health care workers' (n = 12). There were also more multidrug pathogens in the patients' mobile phones including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella spp, high-level aminoglycoside-resistant Enterococcus spp, and carabepenem-resistant Acinetobacter baumanii. Our findings suggest that mobile phones of patients, patients' companions, and visitors represent higher risk for nosocomial pathogen colonization than those of health care workers. Specific infection control measures may be required for this threat.


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