Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Residential washers may not kill hospital-acquired bacteria

Date:
October 5, 2011
Source:
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Summary:
Residential washing machines may not always use hot enough water to eliminate dangerous bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter, a Gram-negative bacteria, from hospital uniforms, according to a new study.

Residential washing machines may not always use hot enough water to eliminate dangerous bacteria like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Acinetobacter, a Gram-negative bacteria, from hospital uniforms, according to a study published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

The study, conducted by researchers from University College in London, was prompted by changes in Britain's National Health Service that led many hospitals in the UK to end in-house laundry services. The researchers investigated the effectiveness of residential washing machines' lower water temperatures in eliminating hospital-acquired bacteria.

Through a series of experiments, researchers found that washing uniforms in residential washing machines with detergent and water temperature of 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) was enough to eliminate both MRSA and Acinetobacter. At 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), MRSA was eliminated, but substantial amounts of Acinetobacter were detected. In the UK, energy-saving washers often operate at temperatures near 40 degrees.

However, the researchers found using a hot iron on fabric after a 40 degree Celsius wash did eliminate the Acinetobacter. The effect of tumble drying the uniforms was not tested.

"The results stress the importance of ironing hospital uniforms after washing them in a domestic washing machine that operates at less than 60 degrees Celsius," said Dr. John Holton, one of the study's authors. "We show that laundry and ironing in a domestic setting is effective in producing a uniform free of accumulated hospital bacteria safe to wear to work,"

The experiments were performed on nurses' uniforms worn during a work day, as well as swatches of fabric artificially contaminated with MRSA and Acinetobacter. The researchers studied the two bacteria because both are often associated with healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), and represent two important bacterial types. MRSA is known as a Gram positive bacteria and Acinetobacter as Gram negative. The distinction involves differences in the walls of the bacterial cells. The researchers expect their results are applicable to other types of Gram negative and positive bacteria.

Researchers are planning additional studies to see if common HAI bacteria can remain and develop in residential washing machines after laundering hospital uniforms.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. Lakdawala, J. Pham, M. Shah, J. Holton. Effectiveness of Low-Temperature Domestic Laundry on the Decontamination of Healthcare Workers’ Uniforms. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, November 2011 DOI: 10.1086/662183

Cite This Page:

Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. "Residential washers may not kill hospital-acquired bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132351.htm>.
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. (2011, October 5). Residential washers may not kill hospital-acquired bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132351.htm
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. "Residential washers may not kill hospital-acquired bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003132351.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins