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J Hosp Infect. 1992 Oct;22(2):137-42.

A study of glutaraldehyde disinfection of fibreoptic bronchoscopes experimentally contaminated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Department of Medicine, Guy's Hospital, London.


Mycobacteria are difficult to inactivate, and concern about the spread of tuberculosis at bronchoscopy has a major influence on infection control practices. Recommendations from the UK Department of Health are based largely on in-vitro mycobactericidal assays which do not take into account the particular conditions encountered in endoscopy units. In this applied study cleaning and disinfection methods were examined using five bronchoscopes that were heavily contaminated with a recent isolate of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in sputum. Cleaning reduced contamination by a mean 3.5 log(10) colony forming units (cfu) per ml; all bronchoscopes were free of detectable mycobacteria after 10 min in 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde (AG). It is recommended that all bronchoscopes be thoroughly pre-cleaned and disinfected in 2% AG for 20 min as part of a uniform policy of infection control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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