Current hospital cleaning protocol may be inadequate to rid patient rooms of multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).
A team of researchers from the University of Maryland collected 487 cultures from 32 hospital rooms occupied by just-discharged patients with a known history of MDR A. baumannii both before and after terminal cleaning of the rooms. Over half of the rooms positive for the A. baumannii bacteria prior to cleaning remained contaminated after terminal cleaning had occurred.
Fifteen rooms (46.9 percent) and 41 sites (n=268, 15.3 percent) tested positive for MDR A. baumannii before cleaning. Post-cleaning, eight rooms (25 percent) and 12 sites (n=219, 5.5 percent) still tested positive for the pathogen. Sites with post-cleaning contamination included the floor (12.5 percent), call button (10 percent), door handle (9.4 percent) bedside table (7.4 percent), and supply cart (3.8 percent).
"Persistent room contamination serves as a potential reservoir for transmission and colonization of future room occupants," state the authors in the article. "Current cleaning techniques in terms of products used or thoroughness of cleaning may not be adequate in the decontamination of this pathogen."