Growth of Gram-negative bacteria in antiseptics, disinfectants and hand hygiene products in two hospitals in West Africa

September 19, 2023



Check out Palpouguini Lompo‘s important findings in his newest paper in Pathogens 

Antiseptics, disinfectants, and hand hygiene products can act as reservoirs of Gram-negative bacteria causing healthcare-associated infections. This problem is rarely documented in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. In a cross-sectional survey, we assessed the bacterial contamination of antiseptics, disinfectants, and hand hygiene products in two university hospitals in Burkina Faso and Benin. During ward visits and staff interviews, in-use products were cultured for the presence of Gram-negative bacteria. The growth of Gram-negative bacteria was absent or rare in alcohol-based products, povidone iodine, and Dakin solution. Contamination was highest (73.9% (51/69)) for liquid soap products (versus antiseptic/disinfectants (4.5%, 7/157) (p < 0.0001)), mostly used in high-risk areas and associated with high total bacterial counts (>10,000 colony-forming units/mL). Contaminating flora (105 isolates) included Enterobacterales and the Vibrio non-cholerae/Aeromonas group (17.1%) and non-fermentative Gram-negative rods (82.8%). Multidrug resistance was present among 9/16 Enterobacterales (Klebsiella and Enterobacter spp.) and 3/12 Acinetobacter spp., including carbapenem resistance (Acinetobacter baumannii: NDM, Pseudomonas stutzeri: VIM). The risk factors for contamination included the type of product (cleaning grade and in-house prepared liquid soap), use of recycled disposable containers and soft drink bottles, absence of labeling, topping-up of containers, dilution with tap water (pharmacy and ward), and poor-quality management (procurement, stock management, expiry dates, and period after opening).

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Environmental sampling