Eradicating pathogens from environmental surfaces in hospitals is a daily fight. Keeping bacteria from reproducing on surfaces, finding reservoirs in hard-to-clean areas, and forming biofilms requires daily disinfection, and ideally, some form of continuous mitigation. In today's post, we will look at the threats posed by bacteria that are even more adept at surviving on surfaces: Spore-forming bacteria, and how hospitals are trying to keep these persistent pathogens from threatening their patients.
One of the most tracked and reported metrics in today's healthcare facilities is infection rates. Anyone working in a hospital is aware of the importance of keeping these rates as low as possible, as they impact not only patient outcomes, but reimbursement rates and facility reputation as well. It may be an assumption by the general public that these rates are an objective metric with little grey area. However, a recent study investigated what infection prevention experts think about these metrics, and the results may surprise you!
This week saw epic snowfalls in the US, assuring us that winter is very much upon us. For those of us who live where it gets colder and colder this time of year, we may be finding ourselves wrapping ourselves up more as we go out, bundling up to stay cozy inside, and generally getting ourselves situated to make it through the cold season. We are reacting to our environment, just as bears prepare to hibernate, and birds prepare to migrate. Microorganisms react to their environment as well, with some bacteria having the ability to produce spores in order to survive outside a host. In today's post, we will examine one such bacterial spore, one that causes hundreds of thousands of infections each year and tens of thousands of deaths: Clostridioides difficile.