Hand soap contamination by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a tertiary care hospital: no evidence of impact on patients.
J Hosp Infect. 2016 Mar 3;
Authors: Blanc DS, Gomes Magalhaes B, Abdelbary M, Prod'hom G, Greub G, Wasserfallen JB, Genoud P, Zanetti G, Senn L
BACKGROUND: During an environmental investigation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in intensive care units, the liquid hand soap was found to be highly contaminated (up to 8 × 10(5)cfu/g) with this pathogen. It had been used over the previous five months and was probably contaminated during manufacturing.
AIM: To evaluate the burden of this contamination on patients by conducting an epidemiological investigation using molecular typing combined with whole genome sequencing (WGS).
METHODS: P. aeruginosa isolates from clinical specimens were analysed by double locus sequence typing (DLST) and compared with isolates recovered from the soap. Medical charts of patients infected with a genotype identical to those found in the soap were reviewed. WGS was performed on soap and patient isolates sharing the same genotype.
FINDINGS: P. aeruginosa isolates (N = 776) were available in 358/382 patients (93.7%). Only three patients (0.8%) were infected with a genotype found in the soap. Epidemiological investigations showed that the first patient was not exposed to the soap, the second could have been exposed, and the third was indeed exposed. WGS showed a high number of core single nucleotide polymorphism differences between patients and soap isolates. No close genetic association was observed between soap and patient isolates, ruling out the hypothesis of transmission.
CONCLUSION: Despite a highly contaminated soap, the combined investigation with DLST and WGS ruled out any impact on patients. Hand hygiene performed with alcohol-based solution for >15 years was probably the main reason. However, such contamination represents a putative reservoir of pathogens that should be avoided in the hospital setting.
PMID: 27021398 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]