AiM  Vol.12 No.5 , May 2022
Investigating the Bioburden of “Neglected” Hospital Low Contact Surfaces
Abstract: Microbes inhabit every surface, reproduce, and if undisturbed, could form biofilm. Hospital contact surfaces have been reported to play a major role in the spread of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs). Most studies on these surfaces as a route for the spread of nosocomial infections have focused on the high-contact surfaces. There is a paucity of information on the bioburden of “neglected” low-contact surfaces such as bedside bible, ward television, and ward clock, etc. This study was carried out to investigate the bioburden of “neglected” low-contact hospital surfaces and compare it with that of the high-contact surfaces. Using a sterile swab stick moistened in normal saline, we collected 400 samples from contact surfaces of 20 randomly selected hospitals in Owerri, southeast in Nigeria, and by standard microbiological methods and with reference to standard identification manuals, microbial species were isolated and characterized. The results show that the mean of the bioburden in cfu/square swabbed surface of these “neglected” low-contact surfaces is significantly higher (p = 0.005) than that of the high-contact surfaces which may be a result of target hygienic cleaning, with attention on the high-contact surfaces and the low-contact surfaces are often “neglected”. This result gives an insight into the continued prevalence of hospital-acquired infections as these “neglected” low-contact surfaces continue to serve as a reservoir for pathogenic microbes and a source of continued microbial contamination of hospital surfaces. It therefore calls for a revamp of existing hospital cleaning protocols and redesigning of cleaning regimes.
Cite this paper: Okafor, S. , Ekuma, I. , Okey-Mbata, C. , Ezeamaku, U. , Okafor, A. , Arukalam, F. and Eziefuna, E. (2022) Investigating the Bioburden of “Neglected” Hospital Low Contact Surfaces. Advances in Microbiology, 12, 316-326. doi: 10.4236/aim.2022.125022.

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