Background Environmental contamination is a major concern for nosocomial infections in neonatal units. Sources of contamination are multiple and contamination with pathogens occurs during routine medical care. Diverse types of pathogens have been found to cause nosocomial infections. Environmental disinfection and fumigation for their eradication have shown conflicting results.
Aim This study was designed to find out the potential sources of infection in our set-up and role of various methods in its eradication.
Methods This was a cross sectional study and conducted at tertiary care Neonatal unit from March 2007 to October 2012. We obtained samples for culture from air, liquid materials like Oxygen flow metre water and solid materials like equipment, walls and windows of the unit before and after disinfection and fumigation with formalin solution and carbolic acid. Data was entered and analysed in SPSS 16. Chi square test was applied to determine the significance and P value < 0.05 was considered as significant.
Results Total 556 cultures were taken from various environmental sources. In the pre fumigation and disinfection stage 227 out of 288 cultures were positive while only 94 isolates were detected from 268 samples after fumigation and disinfection (Figure 1) (P < 0.05). Table 1 shows the culture comparison of different sources of Neonatology unit before and after fumigation and disinfection. Microorganism detected from different sources were Staphylococcus epidermidis (n = 96) followed by Bacillus spp. (n = 67), Klebsiella spp. (n = 59), Staphylococcus aureus (n = 32) and Pseudomonas spp. (n = 29).
Conclusion Pathogenic microorganisms were isolated from various sources of neonatal ward and were potential reservoirs for nosocomial infections. Environmental disinfection and fumigation was effective in reducing their burden. However fumigation was unsuccessful in disinfecting the environmental air.
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