Contamination of the hospital environment with gastroenteric viruses: comparison of two pediatric wards over a winter season

Chris I. Gallimore, Clive Taylor, Andrew R. Gennery, Andrew J. Cant, Angela Galloway, Jacqueline Xerry, Juliet Adigwe, Jim J. Gray

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The aims of this study were to examine the extent of gastroenteric virus contamination in a pediatric primary immunodeficiency (PPI) ward and a general pediatric ward over a winter season and to determine whether changes to hospital infection control interventions would have an impact on environmental contamination levels within pediatric units. Environmental swabs were collected weekly from 11 sites in both wards from 15 December 2005 to 3 March 2006 and examined for the presence of norovirus (NoV), astrovirus, and rotavirus (RV) by reverse transcriptase PCR. Viruses were detected in 17% and 19% of swabs from both wards. Virus contamination for NoV and RV decreased from 20% to 6% and 15% to 10% of swabs, respectively, in the PPI ward from the 2004 study by Gallimore et al. (C. I. Gallimore, C. Taylor, A. R. Gennery, A. J. Cant, A. Galloway, M. Iturriza-Gomara, and J. J. Gray, J. Clin. Microbiol. 44:395-399, 2006). Overall, changes to cleaning protocols were deemed to have reduced the level of environmental contamination with gastroenteric viruses, but contamination still occurred due to a breakdown in infection control procedures indicated by contamination in areas frequented by parents but used only occasionally by staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3112-3115
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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