Objective—To evaluate the extent of environmental
contamination with Salmonella enterica in a veterinary
Samples—Environmental samples obtained from 69
representative locations within a veterinary teaching
hospital by use of a commercially available electrostatic
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)
Objective—To evaluate the effects of footwear hygiene protocols on bacterial contamination of floor surfaces in an equine hospital.
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.