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Evaluation of the efficacy of a peroxygen disinfectant-filled footmat for reduction of bacterial load on footwear in a large animal hospital setting

Magdalena Dunowska LW, PhD1, Paul S. Morley DVM, PhD, DACVIM2, Gage Patterson MS3, Doreene R. Hyatt PhD4, and David C. Van Metre DVM, DACVIM5
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  • 1 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 2 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 3 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 4 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 5 Animal Population Health Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Abstract

Objective—To compare the efficacy of a peroxygenbased disinfectant used in footbaths with the efficacy of the same disinfectant used in footmats for reducing bacterial contamination of footwear in a large animal hospital.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—Bacteria recovered from the soles of rubber boots after experimental microbial contamination and exposure to disinfectant solutions or water (water-treated control boots) or no treatment (untreated control boots).

Procedures—Investigators contaminated boots by walking through soiled animal bedding. Swab samples were collected from the sole of 1 untreated boot (right or left); the other boot was treated as investigators stepped through a disinfectant-filled footbath, a disinfectant-filled footmat, or water-filled footmat. Samples were collected 10 minutes after each treatment. Differences in numbers of bacteria recovered from treated and untreated boots were analyzed.

Results—Mean bacterial counts from peroxygentreated boots were 1.3 to 1.4 log10 lower (95.4% to 99.8%) than the counts from untreated boots. Results were similar for footmat- and footbath-treated boots. In contrast, there were no statistically detectable differences in mean bacterial counts in samples collected from water-treated or untreated boots.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that footmats and footbaths containing peroxygenbased disinfectant are effective in reducing bacterial contamination on the soles of boots when used in conditions representative of large animal hospitals. Similar results were achieved with use of either footmats or footbaths. The use of footbaths and footmats containing effective disinfectants may help decrease the risk for spread of nosocomial infection but should not be expected to sterilize footwear.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Animal Population Health Institute through a grant from the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) and by the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Address correspondence to Dr. Morley.