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The role of probiotics for environmental cleaning in a burn unit: A non-randomised controlled prospective study

W G Kleintjes, E P Kotzee, A Whitelaw, R Abrahams, R Prag, M Ebrahim

Abstract


Background. Biofilms in hospital environments provide the ideal conditions for pathogenic bacteria to thrive. Hospital hygiene practices such as cleaning and disinfection do not affect bacteria ‘hiding’ in the biofilm. Using a cleaning product containing environmentally friendly probiotic bacteria to eliminate biofilm may reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infection. A prospective controlled study was designed to investigate this. 

Objective. The primary objective of the study was to document the effect of a probiotic cleaning protocol on environmental flora. The secondary objective was to determine the cost-effectiveness and cost reductions of its use. 

Methods. Our Burn Unit was divided into different areas, and a number assigned to each test zone and comparative normal cleaning treatment control zone in different rooms. We informed the cleaning staff that they should use only the probiotic product in each of the designated test areas. A baseline surface swab for culture was done in each area. Swabs were taken again for culture weekly. 

Results. The total number of pathogenic organisms counted was 17 in the test area, and 9 in the control area. In the test area the predominant organism was Acinetobacter baumanii, and in the control area it was Streptococcus species. The highest concentrations of organisms were on the floors, where they accounted for 59% in the test area and 67% in the control area. The other test areas had mostly single organisms. 

Conclusion. Based on the results, further investigations as to the application of probiotics are indicated, and a prospective study looking at the effects on wound cleaning should assist in answering the question of their effectiveness on wounds.


Authors' affiliations

W G Kleintjes, Western Cape Provincial Tertiary Adult Burn Unit, Division of Surgery, Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University

E P Kotzee, Western Cape Provincial Tertiary Adult Burn Unit, Division of Surgery, Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University

A Whitelaw, Western Cape Provincial Tertiary Adult Burn Unit, Division of Surgery, Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University

R Abrahams, Western Cape Provincial Tertiary Adult Burn Unit, Division of Surgery, Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University

R Prag, Western Cape Provincial Tertiary Adult Burn Unit, Division of Surgery, Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University

M Ebrahim, Western Cape Provincial Tertiary Adult Burn Unit, Division of Surgery, Tygerberg Hospital and Stellenbosch University

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Plastic & Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgery & Burns 2019;2(3):72-74. DOI:10.7196/SAJPRASB.2019.v2i3.29

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-12-13
Date published: 2019-12-13

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