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Bibles as a possible source of pathogens in hospitals? A pilot observation.

Bibles as a possible source of pathogens in hospitals? A pilot observation.
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Ross B, Witzke O,


Ross B, Witzke O, (click to view)

Ross B, Witzke O,

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Infection 2017 02 01() doi 10.1007/s15010-017-0984-5
Abstract

It is a century-old tradition of furnishing Bibles in the bedside drawers of hospitalized patients. But since the books cannot be disinfected, it might be possible that bacterial pathogens survive on the bibles. The aim of this study was to determine whether Bibles in patient’s rooms can act as a vehicle for the spread of nosocomial infections from one to the next patient. We took samples from 50 Bibles in various general wards of the hospital. During the same period, we took contact samples of 99 hymnals from the hospital chapel. The hospital chapel is visited by patients from all departments of the hospital. As expected, microorganisms were detected on all books. They were mainly apathogenic organisms. Molds (Aspergillus spp.) were identified on the surfaces of five books. Two Bibles showed pathogen bacteria in a low number. No invasive infections with those pathogens could be documented during the investigation period, retrospectively. In conclusion, our results do not support Bibles as a possible source of nosocomial infections.

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