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Am J Infect Control. 2009 Mar;37(2):155-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2008.04.251.

Changes in hands microbiota associated with skin damage because of hand hygiene procedures on the health care workers.

Author information

1
Imunologia e Parasitologia Aplicadas, Programa de Pós Graduação em Imunologia e Parasitologia Aplicadas, Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, Brazil. lilianrocha23@yahoo.com.br

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of this study was evaluating the microbial flora of nurses' healthy (n = 30) and damaged hand (n = 30) by frequent handwashing and/or wearing of gloves.

METHODS:

Hand cultures were obtained both before and after washing hands with nonantimicrobial soap, through the sterile polyethylene bag method.

RESULTS:

The bacteria counts of the hands of professionals with damaged hands were higher than those with healthy hands, and those with damaged hands presented higher frequency of Staphylococcus aureus, 16.7% versus 10%; gram-negative bacteria, 20% versus 6.7%; and yeast, 26.7% versus 20%, respectively, as well as the sum of these microorganisms. The presence of Staphylococcus haemolyticus was only seen in nurses with damaged hands (P = .02), and enterococci were not recovered from the hands of any volunteer. The presence of antimicrobial-resistant S aureus and gram-negative bacteria was also greater among damaged hands.

CONCLUSION:

The irritation caused on the skin by frequent washing and/or wearing of gloves is associated with changes in hands microbial flora, and their potential risks should be considered when institutions/users are selecting products/formulations to assure hands skin health and consequent compliance with their own hygiene procedures.

PMID:
19249642
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2008.04.251
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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