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Ann Lab Med. 2012 May;32(3):206-9. doi: 10.3343/alm.2012.32.3.206. Epub 2012 Apr 18.

Contamination of X-ray cassettes with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus haemolyticus in a radiology department.

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1
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jaeseok@hallym.or.kr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We performed surveillance cultures of the surfaces of X-ray cassettes to assess contamination with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

METHODS:

The surfaces of 37 X-ray cassettes stored in a radiology department were cultured using mannitol salt agar containing 6 µg/mL oxacillin. Suspected methicillin-resistant staphylococcal colonies were isolated and identified by biochemical testing. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis was performed to determine the clonal relationships of the contaminants.

RESULTS:

Six X-ray cassettes (16.2%) were contaminated with MRSA. During the isolation procedure, we also detected 19 X-ray cassettes (51.4%) contaminated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus haemolyticus (MRSH), identified as yellow colonies resembling MRSA on mannitol salt agar. PFGE analysis of the MRSA and MRSH isolates revealed that most isolates of each organism were identical or closely related to each other, suggesting a common source of contamination.

CONCLUSIONS:

X-ray cassettes, which are commonly in direct contact with patients, were contaminated with MRSA and MRSH. In hospital environments, contaminated X-ray cassettes may serve as fomites for methicillin-resistant staphylococci.

KEYWORDS:

Contamination; Infection control; MRSA; Radiology; Staphylococcus aureus; Staphylococcus haemolyticus; X-ray cassette

PMID:
22563556
PMCID:
PMC3339301
DOI:
10.3343/alm.2012.32.3.206
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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