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Medicinski podmladak
2015, vol. 66, iss. 2, pp. 55-60
article language: English
document type: Original Scientific Paper
published on: 27/10/2016
doi: 10.5937/medpodm1502055B
Bacterial contamination of stethoscopes in university hospitals: Multicenter study
aUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine
bFaculty of Medicine, Benha University, Egypt
cHospital Clinic, University of Barcelona, Spain
dUniversity of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology

e-mail: stefan92boskovic@yahoo.com

Abstract

Introduction: Stethoscope membranes provide a suitable environment for bacterial survival and they get contaminated during examination of patients. If they are not disinfected, they can become a source of nosocomial infections. Aim: Determine the level of contamination of stethoscope membranes, identify the present microorganisms, test their antimicrobial susceptibility and determine whether there is a difference in contamining based on the frequency of disinfection in university clinics in Belgrade, Benha and Barcelona. Material and methods: Swabs were taken from stethoscope membranes of 147 physicians who are employed in one of three university hospitals in Belgrade, Benha and Barcelona. The material was cultivated and incubated in dextrose broth and on blood agar plates. Identification was performed by cultural, microscopic and biochemical characteristics and the use of MALDI-TOF. Disc diffusion method was used for antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Results: Only 12 doctors disinfect their stethoscopes regularly. Out of 147 samples, 122 were contaminated, and 25 sterile (1 from Belgrade, 24 from Benha). There was no statistically significant difference in degree of contamination and cleaning habits (p > 0.05). Stethoscopes in Benha were significantly less contaminated (p < 0.05). Isolated bacteria belong to genera Staphylococcus (125 strains), Streptococcus (7 strains), Bacillus (5 strains), Corynebacterium (13 strains), Acinetobacter (2 strains), Proteus (2 strains), Enterococcus (1 strain) and Pseudomonas (1 strain). Methicillin resistance of staphylococci was 37.1% in Belgrade and 95.2% in Benha. Four strains of Staphylococcus aureus were isolated and three were methicillin-resistant. Conclusion: Disinfection of stethoscope membranes should be performed after examining each patient and it is necessary to conduct further education of physicians on this matter.

Keywords

References

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