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Abstract

An Innovative Approach to Hospital Sanitization Using Probiotics: In Vitro and Field Trials

Vincenza La Fauci, Gaetano Bruno Costa, Francesca Anastasi, Alessio Facciola, Orazio Claudio Grillo and Raffaele Squeri

Background: The nosocomial infections continue to be a problem, even in hospitals where meticulous sanitization procedures are in place. The most commonly used methods employ chemical disinfectants which carry some disadvantages.

Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of an innovative sanitization procedure using probiotic bacteria based on the principle of biological competition: Probiotic Cleaning Hygiene System (PCHS).

Methods: The study included survival tests and in vitro and field trials. The in vitro trials tested three surfaces (washbasin, floor and desk) in the absence of recontamination. Field trials were carried out in order to evaluate the efficacy of probiotics in the presence of contaminants and to study whether probiotics are able to contain pathogens over time. Samples were taken from the floor in a corridor and an inpatient room and the dispensary washbasin twice daily (pre-sanitization and post-sanitization).

Results: The in vitro tests on three surfaces, not subject to recontamination, resulted in an average reduction ranging from 92.2% to 99.9% after 24 h. From field trials it emerged that the bacterial count was totally eliminated for Enterococcus faecalis and Candida albicans and almost 100% elimination of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii e Klebsiella pneumoniae on all three surfaces after only six hours even when recontaminated. However, less satisfactory results were attained for Staphylococcus aureus.

Conclusion: PCHS acts constantly and is durable over time due to the stabilization of a biofilm which is able to reduce and contain the proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms. Probiotics are therefore effective innovative products to sanitize the hospital environment.