Surveillance of nosocomial infections: a preliminary study on yeast carriage on hands of healthcare workers

L Brunetti, F De Caro, G Boccia, P Cavallo, M Capunzo
2008 Journal of preventive medicine and hygiene  
Hospital-acquired fungal infection is increasing. The aim of this preliminary study was to evaluate the frequency and distribution of yeast carriage on the hands of healthcare workers (HCW) from different departments. The study was conducted in three departments (Surgery, Intensive Care Unit, Obstetrics and Gynaecology) of a hospital in Campania, southern Italy. Over a six-month period, 50 healthcare workers were randomly tested. Imprints of palms and fingertips were taken monthly during the
more » ... nthly during the morning shift. The plate with yeast was counted and Candida species were identified. Risk factors for hand contamination were determined. Hand carriage of yeast and Candida species in the three departments were found in the following percentages: Surgery (50% and 49%); Intensive Care Unit (61% and 57%); Obstetrics and Gynaecology (65% and 59%). No significant difference in the frequency or distribution of yeast and Candida sp. recovered in the three departments was ascertained by comparing every two months' data, the hand carriage of yeast and Candida species found in the three departments; this varied - min to max - according to the following percentages: Surgery [(45%-54%) and (42%-58%)]; Intensive Care Unit [(53%-66%) and (56%-59%)]; Obstetrics and Gynaecology [(62%-69%) and (57%-63%)]. The only factor associated with yeast carriage on the hands of healthcare workers was the absence of gloving during healthcare procedure (p = 0.0192). We conclude that in our study yeast carriage on the HCWs' hands is common in the three departments investigated, but its causes are unclear. Careful use of gloving may reduce pathogenic yeast on hands.
pmid:18847179 fatcat:6b7zefzstrcwrcxakvfof44xsq