Isolation of pathogenic bacteria from fomites in the operating rooms of a specialist hospital in Kano, North-western Nigeria

  • E Nwankwo
Keywords: Bacterial Pathogens, fomite, operating room, antibiotic susceptibility


Background: Nosocomial infection constitute over 25% of infection rates in the hospital setting causing significant morbidity and mortality especially in developing countries. The aim of this study is to establish the possible presence of known bacteria pathogens on fomites in the operating theatre and evaluate their antibiotic susceptibility pattern.

Methods: Various items in the operating theatre rooms such as forceps,
scissors, floor, walls, suction tube, sink, theatre bed covers etc. were screened for the presence of bacterial and fungal pathogens from Murtala
Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano between Jan – Aug 2009. One thousand eight hundred (1,800) samples were processed. Bacterial and fungal isolates were identified by standard microbiological procedures. Antibiotic susceptibility testing was carried out by disc diffusion method.
Results: A total of eight bacteria genera and four fungal species were observed. The following bacterial pathogens were isolated; Escherichia coli
(10.0%), Proteus Mirabilis (8.33%), Proteus vulgaris (6.70%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (23.3%), Staphylococcus aureus (0.83%), Streptococcus spp. (18.3%), E. faecalis (3.33%), Coagulase negative staph (28.3%) and Salmonella choleraesius (0.83%). Ofloxacin and ceftriaxone showed encouraging results against the isolates.

Conclusion: Fomites should be regarded as a possible source of nosocomial infection since bacteria from them can be carried from the hands of theatre personnel to the patient undergoing surgery or through redispersed bacteria from surfaces during surgery.

Key words: Bacterial Pathogens, fomite, operating room, antibiotic susceptibility


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eISSN: 1937-8688