Keyboards and mice can harbor hospital infections

September 30, 2009,

Although hospital computer equipment can act as a reservoir for pathogenic organisms, including MRSA, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases found that bacterial contamination rates from computer equipment were low, possibly as the result of good hand hygiene.

Yen-hsu Chen, from Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, led a team of researchers who studied IT equipment in a 1600-bed medical center in southern Taiwan with 47 wards and 282 computers. He said, "Most hospital computer devices are not waterproof, or otherwise designed for disinfection needs. Clinically, A. baumannii, P. aeruginosa, and MRSA cause the most common nosocomial infections, and their presence correlates with environmental surface contamination. We screened 282 computer stations, looking for these bacteria and other, less dangerous, species".

The results revealed a 17.4% (49/282) contamination rate of S. aureus, Acinetobacter spp. or Pseudomonas spp. The contamination rates of MRSA and A. baumannii in the ward computers were 1.1% and 4.3%, respectively. No P. aeruginosa was found. According to Chen, "No clinical correlation of contamination of these computer devices to clinical isolates was found. Routine disinfection and even surveillance of these computer devices may not be mandatory in non-outbreak settings".

More information: Methicillin-resistant and Acinetobacter baumannii on computer interface surfaces of hospital wards and association with clinical isolates, Po-Liang Lu, L. k Siu, Tun-Chieh Chen, Ling Ma, Wen-Gin Chiang, Yen-Hsu Chen, Sheng-Fung Lin and Tyen-Po Chen, BMC Infectious Diseases (in press), http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcinfectdis/

Source: BioMed Central (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New study offers insights on genetic indicators of COPD risk

January 16, 2018
Researchers have discovered that genetic variations in the anatomy of the lungs could serve as indicators to help identify people who have low, but stable, lung function early in life, and those who are particularly at risk ...

Previous influenza virus exposures enhance susceptibility in another influenza pandemic

January 16, 2018
While past exposure to influenza A viruses often builds immunity to similar, and sometimes different, strains of the virus, Canadian researchers are calling for more attention to exceptions to that rule.

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Surfers three times more likely to have antibiotic-resistant bacteria in guts

January 14, 2018
Regular surfers and bodyboarders are three times more likely to have antibiotic resistant E. coli in their guts than non-surfers, new research has revealed.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.