Format

Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48137. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048137. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

High risk HPV contamination of endocavity vaginal ultrasound probes: an underestimated route of nosocomial infection?

Author information

1
Laboratory of Virology, Centre de Biologie et Pathologie Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France. jean-sebastien.casalegno@chu-lyon.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Endocavity ultrasound is seen as a harmless procedure and has become a common gynaecological procedure. However without correct disinfection, it may result in nosocomial transmission of genito-urinary pathogens, such as high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HR-HPV). We aimed to evaluate the currently recommended disinfection procedure for covered endocavity ultrasound probes, which consists of "Low Level Disinfection" (LLD) with "quaternary ammonium compounds" containing wipes.

METHODS:

From May to October 2011 swabs were taken from endovaginal ultrasound probes at the Gynecology Department of the Lyon University Hospital. During the first phase (May-June 2011) samples were taken after the ultrasound examination and after the LLD procedure. In a second phase (July-October 2011) swab samples were collected just before the probe was used. All samples were tested for the presence of human DNA (as a marker for a possible transmission of infectious pathogens from the genital tract) and HPV DNA with the Genomica DNA microarray (35 different HPV genotypes).

RESULTS:

We collected 217 samples before and 200 samples after the ultrasound examination. The PCR was inhibited in two cases. Human DNA was detected in 36 (18%) post-examination samples and 61 (28%) pre-examination samples. After the ultrasound LLD procedure, 6 (3.0%) samples contained HR-HPV types (16, 31, 2×53 and 58). Similarly, HPV was detected in 6 pre-examination samples (2.7%). Amongst these 4 (1.9%) contained HR-HPV (types 53 and 70).

CONCLUSION:

Our study reveals that a considerable number of ultrasound probes are contaminated with human and HR-HPV DNA, despite LLD disinfection and probe cover. In all hospitals, where LLD is performed, the endovaginal ultrasound procedure must therefore be considered a source for nosocomial HR-HPV infections. We recommend the stringent use of high-level disinfectants, such as glutaraldehyde or hydrogen peroxide solutions.

PMID:
23110191
PMCID:
PMC3480505
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0048137
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center