Environmental contamination and hospital-acquired infection: factors that are easily overlooked

Beggs, C., Knibbs, L.D., Johnson, G.R., & Morawska, L. (2015) Environmental contamination and hospital-acquired infection: factors that are easily overlooked. Indoor Air, 25(5), pp. 462-474.

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There is an ongoing debate about the reasons for and factors contributing to healthcare-associated infection (HAI). Different solutions have been proposed over time to control the spread of HAI, with more focus on hand hygiene than on other aspects such as preventing the aerial dissemination of bacteria. Yet, it emerges that there is a need for a more pluralistic approach to infection control; one that reflects the complexity of the systems associated with HAI and involves multidisciplinary teams including hospital doctors, infection control nurses, microbiologists, architects, and engineers with expertise in building design and facilities management. This study reviews the knowledge base on the role that environmental contamination plays in the transmission of HAI, with the aim of raising awareness regarding infection control issues that are frequently overlooked. From the discussion presented in the study, it is clear that many unknowns persist regarding aerial dissemination of bacteria, and its control via cleaning and disinfection of the clinical environment. There is a paucity of good-quality epidemiological data, making it difficult for healthcare authorities to develop evidence-based policies. Consequently, there is a strong need for carefully designed studies to determine the impact of environmental contamination on the spread of HAI.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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5 since deposited on 27 Apr 2015
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ID Code: 83759
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Healthcare-assocated infection, Aerial dissemination, Environmental contamination, Hospital microbiome, Duct cleaning
DOI: 10.1111/ina.12170
ISSN: 0905-6947
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Copyright Statement: This is the accepted version of the following article: INdoor Air, 25(5), pp.462-474, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/ina.12170.
Deposited On: 27 Apr 2015 02:09
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 13:10

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