Microorganisms on gloves should not be underestimated


Acinetobacter baumannii, a moisture-loving microorganis […]

Acinetobacter baumannii, a moisture-loving microorganism, is a common cause of nosocomial opportunistic infections, including ventilator-associated pneumonia. It can be easily transferred from examination gloves to plastic surfaces, according to the results of a new study.

Bowman appears to have a particular affinity for examination gloves and polypropylene plastics, Dr. Kazue Fujita of the Japanese Medical School and colleagues report.

While coveralls and gloves protect healthcare workers and patients from transmission of infectious microorganisms, the inability to remove or replace contaminated gloves can increase the potential for transmission, especially if the microorganisms are robust enough to survive in a hospital setting, Dr. Fujita Say.

"Improving glove use compliance will reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections. It is important to establish a risk assessment basis and management approach for each type of bacteria at the same time," she said in a 2016 ASM Microbiology news release.

Dr. Fujita and colleagues conducted a study to examine how many and what types of common bacteria can spread from contaminated gloves to hospital environments.

They inoculated powder-free synthetic latex gloves with bacteria commonly found in healthcare-associated infections, including multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The contaminated glove was then immediately touched once to a sterile polypropylene surface, a second touch after 30 seconds, and a second touch after 3 minutes (the surface of the glove was completely dry). The investigators then quantified the number of viable bacteria on the polypropylene surface.

Immediately after inoculation, 5% to 10% of the bacteria spread from the inoculation gloves to the polypropylene surface. However, with the exception of Acinetobacter baumannii, all tested microorganisms decreased in a dose-time-dependent manner and were undetectable on polypropylene surfaces 3 minutes after inoculation.

Ongoing Bowman isolation includes drug-susceptible and multidrug-resistant strains.