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Biol Pharm Bull. 2005 Jan;28(1):120-3.

Contamination of environmental surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus in a dermatological ward and its preventive measures.

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Department of Pharmacy, Yamaguchi University Hospital, Ube, Japan.


We investigated contamination of environmental surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus from April 1 to the end of June in 2002 in the dermatological ward (37 beds) of a university hospital. For surfaces contaminated by high levels of S. aureus, disinfection methods were evaluated. 100-10(5) colony forming units (cfu) of methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) or methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) were detected on items such as an immersion bathtub (examined area, about 900 cm2), foot washbowl, stretcher for an immersion bath, and chair for the shower. After disinfection, no S. aureus was detected on smooth surfaces such as the immersion bathtub and foot washbowl; however, S. aureus was detected even after disinfection on porous surfaces made of sponge-like materials (polyethylene foam) such as the stretcher for the immersion bath and the shower chair. Scanning electron microscopy of the porous surfaces showed formation of a large amount of coccus and bacillus biofilms on the walls of pores in the multi-pore structure. Material that is porous should not be used in patient care settings because it is not possible to disinfect it properly.

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