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Am J Infect Control. 2003 Apr;31(2):72-9.

Microbial flora of hands of homemakers.

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1
Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS:

Because of increasing concern about antimicrobial resistance in the community, aerobic flora of hands of 224 healthy homemakers in northern Manhattan, New York, were examined.

RESULTS:

Mean log colony-forming unit counts before and after handwashing were 5.72 and 5.69, respectively, P =.60; mean number of species identified/sample was 3.6 before washing and 3.3 after (P =.02). After handwashing gram-negative bacteria were isolated from 75.1% of subjects; yeast from 32.9%; and Staphylococcus aureus from 18.5%, 1 of which (2.4%) was oxacillin-resistant. Generally, these community isolates were more sensitive than isolates from inpatients in the local hospital, although community isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa were significantly more resistant than inpatient isolates for 4/10 agents tested.

CONCLUSIONS:

Hands of healthy persons in the community were usually colonized with gram-negative bacteria, a single handwash had little impact on microbial counts, and hands of healthy adults may increasingly become one reservoir for antimicrobial resistance.

PMID:
12665739
DOI:
10.1067/mic.2003.33
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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