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Lancet. 1989 Jul 8;2(8654):86-8.

Contamination of endoscopes used in AIDS patients.

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Brompton Hospital, London.


Contamination of twenty endoscopes used in patients with AIDS was assessed. The suction-biopsy, air, and water channels and the insertion tube were sampled after use, after washing in detergent, and after disinfection for 2 min in 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde. The polymerase chain reaction with Southern blotting, cell cultures, and antigen immunoassay were used to detect human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Samples were also examined for cytomegalovirus, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, herpes simplex virus, myxoviruses, hepatitis B surface antigen, fungi, and bacteria. Seven of twenty unwashed endoscopes were contaminated by HIV. Commensal bacteria were found in all endoscopes, Candida albicans in six, Staphylococcus aureus in five, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa in five. Washing alone removed all detectable organisms from 66 of 68 contaminated sites; Neisseria spp were recovered from two air channels after washing but not after disinfection. Washing achieved a mean reduction of 4.93 (95% confidence interval 3.69-6.17) colony forming units per ml.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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