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  • Author or Editor: Brandy A. Burgess x
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Objective—To evaluate the extent of environmental contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary teaching hospital.

Design—Longitudinal study.

Samples—Environmental samples obtained from 69 representative locations within a veterinary teaching hospital by use of a commercially available electrostatic wipe.

Procedure—Environmental samples were obtained for bacteriologic culture, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on each environmental isolate. Environmental isolates were compared with isolates obtained from animals during the same period to investigate potential sources of environmental contamination.

Results—54 S enterica isolates were recovered from 452 (11.9%) cultured environmental samples .Five different serotypes were recovered; the most common serotypes were S Newport and S Agona. Within the 5 serotypes recovered, 10 distinguishable phenotypes were identified by use of serotype and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns. Of the environmental isolates, 41 of 54 (75.9%) could be matched to phenotypes of isolates obtained from animal submissions in the month prior to collection of environmental samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that environments in veterinary hospitals can be frequently contaminated with S enterica near where infected animals are managed and fecal specimens containing S enterica are processed for culture in a diagnostic laboratory. Bacteriologic culture of environmental samples collected with electrostatic wipes is an effective means of detecting contamination in a veterinary hospital environment and may be beneficial as part of surveillance activities for other veterinary and animal-rearing facilities. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1344–1348)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate the effects of footwear hygiene protocols on bacterial contamination of floor surfaces in an equine hospital.

Design—Field trial.

Procedures—Footwear hygiene protocols evaluated included use of rubber overboots with footbaths and footmats containing a quaternary ammonium disinfectant, rubber overboots with footbaths and footmats containing a peroxygen disinfectant, and no restrictions on footwear type but mandatory use of footbaths and footmats containing a peroxygen disinfectant. Nonspecific aerobic bacterial counts were determined via 2 procedures for sample collection and bacterial enumeration (contact plates vs swabbing combined with use of spread plates), and the effects of each footwear hygiene protocol were compared.

Results—There were no consistent findings suggesting that any of the protocols were associated with differences in numbers of bacteria recovered from floor surfaces. Although there were detectable differences in numbers of bacteria recovered in association with different footwear hygiene protocols, differences in least square mean bacterial counts did not appear to be clinically relevant (ie, were < 1 log10).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although cleaning and disinfection of footwear are important aids in reducing the risk of nosocomial transmission of infectious agents in veterinary hospitals, the numbers of aerobic bacteria recovered from floor surfaces were not affected by use of rubber overboots or the types of disinfectant used in this study. Further study is warranted to evaluate the usefulness of footwear hygiene practices relative to their efficacy for reducing transmission of specific pathogens or decreasing nosocomial disease risk.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association