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J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Jun;50(6):2140-1. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00448-12. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

Comparison of swab and sponge methodologies for identification of Acinetobacter baumannii from the hospital environment.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


The ideal sampling method for identification of Acinetobacter baumannii from the health care environment is unknown. In this study, we sampled 145 surfaces in the rooms of patients with known A. baumannii colonization/infection, comparing two methods: swab and sponge. The sensitivity of the swab method was 87%, while the sensitivity of the sponge method was 75%. Given the comparable results, use of the cheaper and less laborious swab technique is acceptable and may be preferable.

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