Surveillance of bacterial colonisation on contact surfaces in different medical wards

  • Karmen Godič Torkar Department for Sanitary Engineering, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana
  • Sanja Ivić Department for Sanitary Engineering, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana
Keywords: antibiotic susceptibility, medical wards, bacterial contamination, Surfaces, hospitals, antibiotic susceptibility., surfaces


This study was conducted to determine the bacterial colonization of some bacterial groups, including extended–spectrum β-lactamase (ESBLs) producers and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), on surfaces of the equipment and instruments in patient rooms and other workspaces in three different medical wards. The number of microorganisms on swabs was determined with the colony count method on selective microbiological mediums. The aerobic mesophylic microorganisms were found in 73.5 % out of 102 samples, with the average and maximum values of 2.6 × 102 and 4.6 × 103 colony forming units (CFU) 100 cm-2, respectively. Members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, coagulase positive staphylococci, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and enterococci were detected in 23.4, 31.4, 53.2, and 2.9 % of samples, respectively. The differences in bacterial counts on the surfaces of the psychiatric, oncological, and paediatric wards were statistically significant (P<0.001). About 40 % out of 19 isolates from the family Enterobacteriaceae showed multiple resistance to three or more different groups of tested antibiotics, while ESBL was confirmed for only one strain. Staphylococci isolates were mostly resistant to penicillin. MRSA was confirmed in 5.2 % of the tested S. aureus isolates. Greater attention should be paid to cleaning and the appropriate choice of disinfectants, especially in the psychiatric ward. Employees should be informed about the prevention of the spreading of nosocomial infections. Routine application of rapid methods for hygiene control of surfaces is highly recommended.


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How to Cite
Godič Torkar K, Ivić S. Surveillance of bacterial colonisation on contact surfaces in different medical wards. AIHT [Internet]. 8May2017 [cited 20Jul.2018];68(2). Available from:
Original article