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Title: Survival of Clostridium difficile spores on cotton during healthcare laundering
Author: Tarrant, Joanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 4739
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2017
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The transmission of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is mediated by spores, which are highly resistant to heat and disinfectants. The healthcare laundry policy, Health Technical Memorandum 01-04 Decontamination of linen for health and social care, provides minimum disinfection conditions and microbiological standards for laundered linen: no bacteria on previously sterile de-sized textiles, > 5 log(10) reduction of a thermotolerant species of bacteria and < 100 cfu with no pathogenic bacteria on sampled linen. Quantification of the survival of spores, from hospital sheets (100% cotton) naturally contaminated with C. difficile spores were laundered in a washer extractor (WE) at a commercial laundry; they failed the microbiological standards. Similar results were achieved in a simulated healthcare WE cycle. The industrial detergent used failed the test for sporicidal activity (BS EN 13704), with a 2.81 log(10) reduction in spores. The method of recovering spores from swatches was important; in the presence of soiling, agitation by vortexing (4.48 log(10) cfu/25cm2) was more effective than stomaching (4.2 log(10) cfu/25cm2, p≤0.05). Spore adherence to cotton occurred over time, with 0% (0 hours) and 51% (24 hours) adherence; adherence decreased to 34% (24 hours) after exosporium removal, suggesting a role in spore adherence to cotton. The possibility cannot be discounted that low-level spore survival on processed linen may be contributing to environmental contamination and asymptomatic carriage.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available