Environmental sampling of innate hospital surfaces: a survey of current practices and the need for guidelines

A. S. van der Schoor, M. Boyle, ESCMID Study Group for Nosocomial Infections (ESGNI), A. F. Voor in ‘t holt, M. C. Vos, H. Humphreys*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Surfaces in healthcare facilities can act as reservoirs of infection. Currently, no standardized protocol on when and how to sample hospital surfaces exists. Aim: A web-based questionnaire was devised to gain insight into current sampling practices and was distributed by email to a targeted infection prevention and control (IPC) audience. Methods: The survey consisted of 26 questions on sample collection and processing for a number of healthcare relevant bacterial species. Findings: The majority of respondents were clinical microbiologists or IPC practitioners, and 57.3% were from either the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or Ireland. Respondents had high self-reported knowledge, but this was not consistent with response to certain questions. There was no consensus on sample sites, either within or between countries. Indirect sampling methods were preferred for all target microorganisms, and cotton and flocked swabs were the most popular methods. Conclusion: The results of our survey highlight the inconsistencies in environmental sampling between and within countries, and the need for guidance and consensus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-95
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Healthcare Infection Society


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