Bacterial but no SARS-CoV-2 contamination after terminal disinfection of tertiary care intensive care units treating COVID-19 patients

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Abstract

Background: In intensive care units (ICUs) treating patients with Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) invasive ventilation poses a high risk for aerosol and droplet formation. Surface contamination of severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or bacteria can result in nosocomial transmission. Methods: Two tertiary care COVID-19 intensive care units treating 53 patients for 870 patient days were sampled after terminal cleaning and preparation for regular use to treat non-COVID-19 patients. Results: A total of 176 swabs were sampled of defined locations covering both ICUs. No SARS-CoV-2 ribonucleic acid (RNA) was detected. Gram-negative bacterial contamination was mainly linked to sinks and siphons. Skin flora was isolated from most swabbed areas and Enterococcus faecium was detected on two keyboards. Conclusions: After basic cleaning with standard disinfection measures no remaining SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected. Bacterial contamination was low and mainly localised in sinks and siphons.

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Hofmaenner, D. A., Wendel Garcia, P. D., Duvnjak, B., Chakrakodi, B., Maier, J. D., Huber, M., … Andreas, S. R. (2021). Bacterial but no SARS-CoV-2 contamination after terminal disinfection of tertiary care intensive care units treating COVID-19 patients. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13756-021-00885-z

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