Clostridium difficile contamination seen on variety of hospital surfaces

   According to a study presented at ASM 2013, held in May 2013 in Denver, Clostridium difficile contamination can be found on a variety of hospital surfaces far from the patient room.


   Investigators from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, Houston, Texas, designed a study to determine the environmental prevalence of toxigenic C. difficile from non-patient rooms of a large tertiary care hospital and characterize the isolates.

   They collected 122 samples from 21 locations, including floor (40), medication dispensing cabinets (20), door handles (14), ethanol hand sanitizers (22), washroom (20), and stairs (6). In total, seven of 122 (5.7%) samples were positive for growth of C. difficile. All cultured isolates (100%) were positive for tcdA and tcdB. One of seven (14%) was positive for binary toxin. Five of 84 (6.0%) ICU samples and two of 38 (5.3%) ward samples were positive. Positive samples were obtained from the floor (n=4, 10%), washroom (n=2, 10%), and medication dispensing cabinet (n=1, 5%).