Quantification of Clostridium difficile by real-time PCR in hospital environmental samples

Abstract number: 1733_265

Nonnenmacher C., Kropatsch R., Schumacher S., Mutters R.

Objective: The aim of this study was to detect and quantify Clostridium difficile in environmental samples obtained in hospital units where Clostridium difficile symptomatic patients were hospitalysed.

Methods: A real-time PCR assay was established for the detection and quantification of C. difficile in environmental samples. Quantification was performed with specific 16S rRNA target sequences using double fluorescence labeled probes. 221 samples were collected from environmental sites considered to be commonly exposed to patients and healthcare staff from the hospital settings. Sampling was performed with sterile cotton wool swabs moistened with 0.25% Ringer's solution. The samples were placed immediately in a Schaedler boullion and incubated under anerobic conditions for 3 days, and subsequently DNA extraction was performed.

Results: The sites sampled comprised bed frames, commodes, toilet environment, patient side room, floors, staff and patient hands. 86 isolates (40.6%) recovered from the hospital environment were positive for the presence of Clostridium difficile. Quantification of the positive samples ranged from 6.7×104 cells/mL to 1.0×103 cells/mL with the higher numbers of of C. difficile being found in the hands of patients and staff, staff gloves and in the toilets.

Conclusion: Considering the importance of staff and the inanimate hospital environment as a potential source of C. difficile, close attention should be paid to the hygiene of the clinical settings.

Session Details

Date: 31/03/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: ICC, Munich, Germany
Presentation type:
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