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Health Care Workers’ Gloves Strong Source of Contamination

Clear evidence that gloves of health care workers contaminate hospital surfaces with bacteria

MONDAY, June 27, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Health care workers who wear contaminated gloves can transfer bacteria onto hospital surfaces, according to a study presented at the American Society for Microbiology’s ASM Microbe 2016 meeting, held from June 16 to 20 in Boston.

Sae Otani, a master course student at Bunkyo Gakuin University in Japan, and colleagues contaminated examination gloves with certain types of bacteria found in hospitals and other health care facilities. They then touched the gloves to a sterilized polypropylene surface. The amount of bacteria on the surface was then measured.

The researchers found that Acinetobacter baumannii were detected on the polypropylene surface; however, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were not detected. There was no consistent effect for antibiotic sensitivity of bacteria on survival on the surface.

“Gloving is recommended as a barrier protection for health care workers to reduce the risk of contamination during contact with infectious sputum, urine, and body fluids,” but not changing or removing contaminated gloves carries a high risk of transmitting harmful germs, Otani said in an ASM news release.

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