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1.  Swab culture monitoring of automated endoscope reprocessors after high-level disinfection 
AIM: To conduct a bacterial culture study for monitoring decontamination of automated endoscope reprocessors (AERs) after high-level disinfection (HLD).
METHODS: From February 2006 to January 2011, authors conducted randomized consecutive sampling each month for 7 AERs. Authors collected a total of 420 swab cultures, including 300 cultures from 5 gastroscope AERs, and 120 cultures from 2 colonoscope AERs. Swab cultures were obtained from the residual water from the AERs after a full reprocessing cycle. Samples were cultured to test for aerobic bacteria, anaerobic bacteria, and mycobacterium tuberculosis.
RESULTS: The positive culture rate of the AERs was 2.0% (6/300) for gastroscope AERs and 0.8% (1/120) for colonoscope AERs. All the positive cultures, including 6 from gastroscope and 1 from colonoscope AERs, showed monofloral colonization. Of the gastroscope AER samples, 50% (3/6) were colonized by aerobic bacterial and 50% (3/6) by fungal contaminations.
CONCLUSION: A full reprocessing cycle of an AER with HLD is adequate for disinfection of the machine. Swab culture is a useful method for monitoring AER decontamination after each reprocessing cycle. Fungal contamination of AERs after reprocessing should also be kept in mind.
PMCID: PMC3325533  PMID: 22529696
Automated endoscope reprocessor; Gastrointestinal scope; High-level disinfection; Swab culture; Monitoring; Decontamination
2.  Comparative cost-efficiency of the EVOTECH endoscope cleaner and reprocessor versus manual cleaning plus automated endoscope reprocessing in a real-world Canadian hospital endoscopy setting 
BMC Gastroenterology  2011;11:105.
Reprocessing of endoscopes generally requires labour-intensive manual cleaning followed by high-level disinfection in an automated endoscope reprocessor (AER). EVOTECH Endoscope Cleaner and Reprocessor (ECR) is approved for fully automated cleaning and disinfection whereas AERs require manual cleaning prior to the high-level disinfection procedure. The purpose of this economic evaluation was to determine the cost-efficiency of the ECR versus AER methods of endoscopy reprocessing in an actual practice setting.
A time and motion study was conducted at a Canadian hospital to collect data on the personnel resources and consumable supplies costs associated with the use of EVOTECH ECR versus manual cleaning followed by AER with Medivators DSD-201. Reprocessing of all endoscopes was observed and timed for both reprocessor types over three days. Laboratory staff members were interviewed regarding the consumption and cost of all disposable supplies and equipment. Exact Wilcoxon rank sum test was used for assessing differences in total cycle reprocessing time.
Endoscope reprocessing was significantly shorter with the ECR than with manual cleaning followed by AER. The differences in median time were 12.46 minutes per colonoscope (p < 0.0001), 6.31 minutes per gastroscope (p < 0.0001), and 5.66 minutes per bronchoscope (p = 0.0040). Almost 2 hours of direct labour time was saved daily with the ECR. The total per cycle cost of consumables and labour for maintenance was slightly higher for EVOTECH ECR versus manual cleaning followed by AER ($8.91 versus $8.31, respectively). Including the cost of direct labour time consumed in reprocessing scopes, the per cycle and annual costs of using the EVOTECH ECR was less than the cost of manual cleaning followed by AER disinfection ($11.50 versus $11.88).
The EVOTECH ECR was more efficient and less costly to use for the reprocessing of endoscopes than manual cleaning followed by AER disinfection. Although the cost of consumable supplies required to reprocess endoscopes with EVOTECH ECR was slightly higher, the value of the labour time saved with EVOTECH ECR more than offset the additional consumables cost. The increased efficiency with EVOTECH ECR could lead to even further cost-savings by shifting endoscopy laboratory personnel responsibilities but further study is required.
PMCID: PMC3198958  PMID: 21967345
3.  Comparison on the Efficacy of Disinfectants Used in Automated Endoscope Reprocessors: PHMB-DBAC versus Orthophthalaldehyde 
Clinical Endoscopy  2011;44(2):109-115.
Since endoscopes are reusable apparatus classified as semicritical item, thorough reprocessing to achieve high-level disinfection is of utmost importance to prevent spread of infection. To improve disinfection efficacy and safety, disinfectants and endoscope reprocessors are continuously evolving. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of the combination of polyhexamethylenebiguanide hydrochloride-alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride (PHMB-DBAC) and orthophthalaldehyde (OPA) used respectively in ultrasonographic cleaning incorporated automated endoscope reprocessors: COOLENDO (APEX Korea) or OER-A (Olympus Optical).
A total of 86 flexible upper endoscopes were randomly reprocessed with either COOLENDO/PHMB-DBAC or OER-A/OPA. Culture samplings were done at two sites (endoscope tip and working channel) which were later incubated on blood agar plate. Bacterial colonies were counted and identified.
The culture-positive rate at the endoscope tip and working channel was 0% and 2.33% for COOLENDO/PHMB-DBAC and 4.65% and 0% for OER-A/OPA. Staphylococcus hominis was cultured from one endoscope reprocessed with COOLENDO/PHMB-DBAC and Pseudomonas putida was isolated from two endoscopes reprocessed with OER-A/OPA.
The reprocessing efficacy of COOLENDO/PHMB-DBAC was non-inferior to that of OER-A/OPA (p=0.032; confidence interval, -0.042 to 0.042). During the study period, significant side effect of PHMB-DBAC was not observed.
PMCID: PMC3363059  PMID: 22741121
Endoscope reprocessing; Disinfectants; High-level disinfection
4.  Transmission of Infection by Flexible Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and Bronchoscopy 
Clinical Microbiology Reviews  2013;26(2):231-254.
Flexible endoscopy is a widely used diagnostic and therapeutic procedure. Contaminated endoscopes are the medical devices frequently associated with outbreaks of health care-associated infections. Accurate reprocessing of flexible endoscopes involves cleaning and high-level disinfection followed by rinsing and drying before storage. Most contemporary flexible endoscopes cannot be heat sterilized and are designed with multiple channels, which are difficult to clean and disinfect. The ability of bacteria to form biofilms on the inner channel surfaces can contribute to failure of the decontamination process. Implementation of microbiological surveillance of endoscope reprocessing is appropriate to detect early colonization and biofilm formation in the endoscope and to prevent contamination and infection in patients after endoscopic procedures. This review presents an overview of the infections and cross-contaminations related to flexible gastrointestinal endoscopy and bronchoscopy and illustrates the impact of biofilm on endoscope reprocessing and postendoscopic infection.
PMCID: PMC3623380  PMID: 23554415
5.  EVOTECH® endoscope cleaner and reprocessor (ECR) simulated-use and clinical-use evaluation of cleaning efficacy 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:200.
The objective of this study was to perform simulated-use testing as well as a clinical study to assess the efficacy of the EVOTECH® Endoscope Cleaner and Reprocessor (ECR) cleaning for flexible colonoscopes, duodenoscopes, gastroscopes and bronchoscopes. The main aim was to determine if the cleaning achieved using the ECR was at least equivalent to that achieved using optimal manual cleaning.
Simulated-use testing consisted of inoculating all scope channels and two surface sites with Artificial Test Soil (ATS) containing 108 cfu/mL of Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. Duodenoscopes, colonoscopes, and bronchoscopes (all Olympus endoscopes) were included in the simulated use testing. Each endoscope type was tested in triplicate and all channels and two surface sites were sampled for each scope. The clinical study evaluated patient-used duodenoscopes, bronchoscopes, colonoscopes, and gastroscopes (scopes used for emergency procedures were excluded) that had only a bedside flush prior to being processed in the ECR (i.e. no manual cleaning). There were 10 to 15 endoscopes evaluated post-cleaning and to ensure the entire ECR cycle was effective, 5 endoscopes were evaluated post-cleaning and post-high level disinfection. All channels and two external surface locations were sampled to evaluate the residual organic and microbial load. Effective cleaning of endoscope surfaces and channels was deemed to have been achieved if there was < 6.4 μg/cm2 of residual protein, < 1.8 μg/cm2 of residual hemoglobin and < 4 Log10 viable bacteria/cm2. Published data indicate that routine manual cleaning can achieve these endpoints so the ECR cleaning efficacy must meet or exceed these to establish that the ECR cleaning cycle could replace manual cleaning
In the clinical study 75 patient-used scopes were evaluated post cleaning and 98.8% of surfaces and 99.7% of lumens met or surpassed the cleaning endpoints set for protein, hemoglobin and bioburden residuals. In the simulated-use study 100% of the Olympus colonoscopes, duodenoscopes and bronchoscopes evaluated met or surpassed the cleaning endpoints set for protein, and bioburden residuals (hemoglobin was not evaluated).
The ECR cleaning cycle provides an effective automated approach that ensures surfaces and channels of flexible endoscopes are adequately cleaned after having only a bedside flush but no manual cleaning. It is crucial to note that endoscopes used for emergency procedures or where reprocessing is delayed for more than one hour MUST still be manually cleaned prior to placing them in the ECR.
PMCID: PMC2914053  PMID: 20618935
6.  Elimination of high titre HIV from fibreoptic endoscopes. 
Gut  1990;31(6):657-659.
Concern about contamination of fibreoptic endoscopes with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has generated a variety of disruptive and possibly unnecessary infection control practices in endoscopy units. Current recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of endoscopes have been formulated without applied experimental evidence of the effective removal of HIV from endoscopes. To study the kinetics of elimination of HIV from endoscope surfaces, we artificially contaminated the suction-biopsy channels of five Olympus GIF XQ20 endoscopes with high titre HIV in serum. The air and water channels of two instruments were similarly contaminated. Contamination was measured by irrigating channels with viral culture medium and collecting 3 ml at the distal end for antigen immunoassay. Endoscopes were then cleaned manually in neutral detergent according to the manufacturer's recommendations and disinfected in 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde (Cidex, Surgikos) for two, four, and ten minutes. Contamination with HIV antigens was measured before and after cleaning and after each period of disinfection. Initial contamination comprised 4.8 x 10(4) to 3.5 x 10(6) pg HIV antigen/ml. Cleaning in detergent achieved a reduction to 165 pg/ml (99.93%) on one endoscope and to undetectable levels (100%) on four. After two minutes in alkaline glutaraldehyde all samples were negative and remained negative after the longer disinfection times. Air and water channels, where contaminated, were tested after 10 minutes' disinfection and were negative. These findings underline the importance of cleaning in removing HIV from endoscope and indicate that the use of dedicated equipment and long disinfection times are unnecessary.
PMCID: PMC1378490  PMID: 2379868
7.  Recent Update of Gastrointestinal Endoscope Reprocessing 
Clinical Endoscopy  2013;46(3):267-273.
As infection-related issues have become one of the most important concerns in endoscopy centers, proper reprocessing of endoscopes has attracted great interest. Compliance with established guidelines for reprocessing is critical to prevent pathogen transmission. However, hospital compliance with guidelines has not been satisfactory. To increase compliance, efforts have focused on developing new and more innovative disinfectants and an automated endoscope reprocessor. Reprocessing must be performed by appropriately trained personnel and regular monitoring of reprocessing is essential for quality assurance to improve compliance.
PMCID: PMC3678065  PMID: 23767038
Endoscopy, gastrointestinal; Reprocessing, compliance
8.  Bactericidal, virucidal, and mycobactericidal activities of reused alkaline glutaraldehyde in an endoscopy unit. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1993;31(11):2988-2995.
Baths with 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde are often reused for 14 days to decontaminate flexible fiberoptic endoscopes (FFEs) between patients, but the effect of such reuse on the disinfectant's activity has not been known. Many busy endoscopy units also disinfect FFEs with contact times shorter than those recommended by the disinfectant manufacturer. We therefore collected samples of the disinfectant over the 14-day reuse period from two manual and one automatic bath used for bronchoscopes and gastroscopes at a local hospital. Control samples were also collected from a manual bath of 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde which did not receive any endoscopes. The germicidal activities of the samples were assessed in a carrier test against a mixture of hepatitis A virus, poliovirus 1 (Sabin), and Pseudomonas aeruginosa; the mixture also contained either Mycobacterium bovis or Mycobacterium gordonae. Bovine serum (5%) was the organic load. The criterion of efficacy was a minimum of a 3-log10-unit reduction in the infectivity titers of the organisms tested. The initial disinfectant concentration in all the baths was nearly 2.25%; it became about 1.8% in the control bath and fell to approximately 1% in the three test baths after 14 days. No protein was detected in the control bath, while its concentration rose gradually in the test baths to a maximum of 1,267 micrograms/ml after 14 days. With a contact time of 10 min at 20 +/- 2 degrees C, all the samples from the control bath were effective against all the test organisms and all the samples from all the test baths were also effective against P. aeruginosa. With a contact time of 10 or 20 min at 20+/-2 degrees C, the virucidal and mycobactericidal activities of the samples from the test baths showed broad-spectrum germicidal activity when the contact time was increased to 45 min and the temperature was raised to 25 degrees C. These findings emphasize the care needed in the disinfection of FFEs, especially in view of the increasing threat of AIDS and the resurgence of tuberculosis.
PMCID: PMC266182  PMID: 8263184
9.  Disinfection of upper gastrointestinal fibreoptic endoscopy equipment: an evaluation of a cetrimide chlorhexidine solution and glutaraldehyde. 
Gut  1978;19(10):916-922.
There is little information available on the bacteriological contamination of upper gastrointestinal fibreoptic endoscopes during routine use and the effects of 'disinfecting solutions'. A bacteriological evaluation was therefore made of cleaning an endoscope and its ancillary equipment with (1) water, (2) an aqueous solution of 1% cetrimide with 0.1% chlorhexidine, and (3) activated aqueous 2% glutaraldehyde. All equipment, but particularly the endoscope itself, was found to be heavily contaminated after use with a wide variety of organisms of which 53% were Gram positive. Cleaning the endoscope and ancillary equipment with water and the cetrimide/chlorhexidine solution alone or in combination was inadequate to produce disinfection but immersion in glutaraldehyde for two minutes consistently produced sterile cultures with our sampling technique. A rapid and simple method for disinfection of endoscopic equipment is therefore recommended and we think this is especially suitable for busy endoscopy units.
PMCID: PMC1412353  PMID: 101424
10.  Rinsability of Orthophthalaldehyde from Endoscopes 
Orthophthalaldehyde high level disinfectants are contraindicated for use with urological instruments such as cystoscopes due to anaphylaxis-like allergic reactions during surveillance of bladder cancer patients. Allergic reactions and mucosal injuries have also been reported following colonoscopy, laryngoscopy, and transesophageal echocardiography with devices disinfected using orthophthalaldehyde. Possibly these endoscopes were not adequately rinsed after disinfection by orthophthalaldehyde. We examined this possibility by means of a zone-of-inhibition test, and also a test to extract residues of orthophthalaldehyde with acetonitrile, from sections of endoscope insertion tube materials, to measure the presence of alkaline glutaraldehyde, or glutaraldehyde plus 20% w/w isopropanol, or ortho-phthalaldehyde that remained on the endoscope materials after exposure to these disinfectants followed by a series of rinses in water, or by aeration overnight. Zones of any size indicated the disinfectant had not been rinsed away from the endoscope material. There were no zones of inhibition surrounding endoscope materials soaked in glutaraldehyde or glutaraldehyde plus isopropanol after three serial water rinses according to manufacturers' rinsing directions. The endoscope material soaked in orthophthalaldehyde produced zones of inhibition even after fifteen serial rinses with water. Orthophthalaldehyde was extracted from the rinsed endoscope material by acetonitrile. These data, and other information, indicate that the high level disinfectant orthophthalaldehyde, also known as 1,2-benzene dialdehyde, cannot be rinsed away from flexible endoscope material with any practical number of rinses with water, or by drying overnight.
PMCID: PMC3361992  PMID: 22665966
11.  Quality control in colorectal cancer screening: Systematic microbiological investigation of endoscopes used in the NORCCAP (Norwegian Colorectal Cancer Prevention) trial 
BMC Gastroenterology  2003;3:15.
Endoscopic colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is currently implemented in many countries. Since endoscopes cannot be sterilised, the transmission of infectious agents through endoscopes has been a matter of concern. We report on a continuous quality control programme in a large-scale randomised controlled trial on flexible sigmoidoscopy screening of an average-risk population. Continuously, throughout a two-year screening period, series of microbiological samples were taken from cleaned ready-to-use endoscopes and cultured for bacterial growth.
8573 endoscopies were performed during the trial period. Altogether, 178 microbiological samples (2%) were taken from the biopsy channels and surfaces from the endoscopes. One sample (0.5%) showed faecal contamination (Enterobacter cloacae), and 25 samples (14%) showed growth of environmental bacteria.
Growth of bacteria occurs in a clinical significant number of samples from ready-to-use endoscopes. Pathogenic bacteria, however, were found only in one sample. Improvement of equipment design and cleaning procedures are desirable and continuous microbiological surveillance of endoscopes used in CRC screening is recommended.
PMCID: PMC166145  PMID: 12803654
12.  A microbiological evaluation of level of disinfection for flexible cystoscopes protected by disposable endosheaths 
BMC Urology  2013;13:46.
Flexible cystoscopy is used in urological outpatient departments for diagnostic cystoscopy of bladder cancer and requires a high-level disinfection between each patient. The purpose of this study was to make a microbiological post disinfection efficacy assessment of flexible cystoscopes (FC) using disposable sterile endosheaths.
One hundred endosheaths underwent a leak-test for barrier integrity after cystoscopy. Microbiological samples from these cystoscopies were obtained; after removal of the endosheath, and after cleaning the scope with a detergent cloth, rinsing with tap water followed by 70% ethanol disinfection and subsequent drying. The number of colony forming units (cfu) from the samples was counted after 72 hours and then divided in three categories, Clean FC (<5 cfu/sample), Critical FC (5–50 cfu/sample) and High-risk FC (>50 cfu/sample). The result was compared with data of 10 years continuous control sampling recorded in the Copenhagen Clean-Endoscope Quality Control Database (CCQCD) and analyzed with a Chi-square test for homogeneity.
All 100 endosheaths passed the leak-test. All samples showed a Clean FC and low means of cfu. A query to the CCQCD, showed that 99.8% (1264/1267) of all FC with a built-in work-channel reprocessed in a WD were clean before use.
The reprocessing of FC using endosheaths, as preformed in this study, provides a patient-ready procedure. The results display a reprocessing procedure with low risk of pathogen transmission, high patient safety and a valid alternative to the recommended high-level disinfection procedure of FC. However, the general impression was that sheaths slightly reduced vision and resulted in some patient discomfort.
PMCID: PMC3852551  PMID: 24099332
Flexible cystoscopy; Endosheaths; Microbiological assessment; Disinfection; Bladder cancer
13.  New disinfecting apparatus for gastrointestinal fibre-endoscopes. 
Gut  1982;23(8):706-709.
Bacterial contamination of gastrointestinal fibre-endoscopes is a potential source of clinically significant infection. Aqueous 2% alkaline glutaraldehyde adequately disinfects fibre-endoscopes but may cause serious sensitivity reactions among endoscopy staff. A new 'closed-system' disinfecting apparatus is described that disinfects with glutaraldehyde for 30 minutes before an endoscopy session, for two minutes between patient procedures, and for 10 minutes before storage. Bacteriological cultures of the endoscope after disinfection were virtually sterile. Extremely low glutaraldehyde vapour levels were detected by gas chromatography in endoscopy room air during disinfection procedures. This relatively simple apparatus offers rapid, effective, and safe disinfection of fibre-endoscopes.
PMCID: PMC1419131  PMID: 6807760
14.  Modeling microbial survival in buildup biofilm for complex medical devices 
Flexible endoscopes undergo repeated rounds of patient-use and reprocessing. Some evidence indicates that there is an accumulation or build-up of organic material that occurs over time in endoscope channels. This "buildup biofilm" (BBF) develops as a result of cyclical exposure to wet and dry phases during usage and reprocessing. This study investigated whether the BBF matrix represents a greater challenge to disinfectant efficacy and microbial eradication than traditional biofilm (TBF), which forms when a surface is constantly bathed in fluid.
Using the MBEC (Minimum Biofilm Eradication Concentration) system, a unique modelling approach was developed to evaluate microbial survival in BBF formed by repetitive cycles of drying, disinfectant exposure and re-exposure to the test organism. This model mimics the cumulative effect of the reprocessing protocol on flexible endoscopes. Glutaraldehyde (GLUT) and accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP) were evaluated to assess the killing of microbes in TBF and BBF.
The data showed that the combination of an organic matrix and aldehyde disinfection quickly produced a protective BBF that facilitated high levels of organism survival. In cross-linked BBF formed under high nutrient conditions the maximum colony forming units (CFU) reached ~6 Log10 CFU/peg. However, if an oxidizing agent was used for disinfection and if organic levels were kept low, organism survival did not occur. A key finding was that once established, the microbial load of BBF formed by GLUT exposure had a faster rate of accumulation than in TBF. The rate of biofilm survival post high-level disinfection (HLD) determined by the maximum Log10CFU/initial Log10CFU for E. faecalis and P. aeruginosa in BBF was 10 and 8.6 respectively; significantly different compared to a survival rate in TBF of ~2 for each organism. Data from indirect outgrowth testing demonstrated for the first time that there is organism survival in the matrix. Both TBF and BBF had surviving organisms when GLUT was used. For AHP survival was seen less frequently in BBF than in TBF.
This BBF model demonstrated for the first time that survival of a wide range of microorganisms does occur in BBF, with significantly more rapid outgrowth compared to TBF. This is most pronounced when GLUT is used compared to AHP. The data supports the need for meticulous cleaning of reprocessed endoscopes since the presence of organic material and microorganisms prevents effective disinfection when GLUT and AHP are used. However, cross-linking agents like GLUT are not as effective when there is BBF. The data from the MBEC model of BBF suggest that for flexible endoscopes that are repeatedly used and reprocessed, the assurance of effective high-level disinfection may decrease if BBF develops within the channels.
PMCID: PMC2689233  PMID: 19426471
15.  A Review of Current Disinfectants for Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Reprocessing 
Clinical Endoscopy  2013;46(4):337-341.
Gastrointestinal endoscopy is gaining popularity for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. However, concerns over endoscope-related nosocomial infections are increasing, together with interest by the general public in safe and efficient endoscopy. For this reason, reprocessing the gastrointestinal endoscope is an important step for effective performance of endoscopy. Disinfectants are essential to the endoscope reprocessing procedure. Before selecting an appropriate disinfectant, their characteristics, limitations and means of use must be fully understood. Herein, we review the characteristics of several currently available disinfectants, including their uses, potency, advantages, and disadvantages. Most disinfectants can be used to reprocess gastrointestinal endoscopes if the manufacturer's guidelines are followed. The selection and use of a suitable disinfectant depends on the individual circumstances of each endoscopy suite.
PMCID: PMC3746138  PMID: 23964330
Endoscopy, gastrointestinal; Disinfectants; Reprocessing
16.  ATP measurement as method to monitor the quality of reprocessing flexible endoscopes 
Insufficient performance of cleaning and disinfection of flexible endoscopes can pose an infection risk to patients. Actually quality of reprocessing is checked by performing microbiological cultures. Unfortunately, their results are not available on the same day so that more rapid methods are desirable. We compared the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) bioluminescence for hygiene checking of the reprocessing procedures of 108 flexible endoscopes with routine microbiological culture technics. Sensitivity and specifity of ATP bioluminescence was calculated. 28 endoscopes showed bacterial growth of at least one sample. Depending on the applied threshold of bioluminescence between 67 and 28 endoscopes were positive. Sensitivity varied between 0.46 and 0.75 and specifity between 0.43 and 0.81. ATP bioluminescence does not replace routine microbiologic methods but it can indicate the need of immediate check of reprocessing.
PMCID: PMC2703208  PMID: 19675687
56-65-5, Adenosine triphosphate
17.  Evaluation of an automated ultraviolet radiation device for decontamination of Clostridium difficile and other healthcare-associated pathogens in hospital rooms 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:197.
Environmental surfaces play an important role in transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens. There is a need for new disinfection methods that are effective against Clostridium difficile spores, but also safe, rapid, and automated.
The Tru-D™ Rapid Room Disinfection device is a mobile, fully-automated room decontamination technology that utilizes ultraviolet-C irradiation to kill pathogens. We examined the efficacy of environmental disinfection using the Tru-D device in the laboratory and in rooms of hospitalized patients. Cultures for C. difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) were collected from commonly touched surfaces before and after use of Tru-D.
On inoculated surfaces, application of Tru-D at a reflected dose of 22,000 μWs/cm2 for ~45 minutes consistently reduced recovery of C. difficile spores and MRSA by >2-3 log10 colony forming units (CFU)/cm2 and of VRE by >3-4 log10 CFU/cm2. Similar killing of MRSA and VRE was achieved in ~20 minutes at a reflected dose of 12,000 μWs/cm2, but killing of C. difficile spores was reduced. Disinfection of hospital rooms with Tru-D reduced the frequency of positive MRSA and VRE cultures by 93% and of C. difficile cultures by 80%. After routine hospital cleaning of the rooms of MRSA carriers, 18% of sites under the edges of bedside tables (i.e., a frequently touched site not easily amenable to manual application of disinfectant) were contaminated with MRSA, versus 0% after Tru-D (P < 0.001). The system required <5 minutes to set up and did not require continuous monitoring.
The Tru-D Rapid Room Disinfection device is a novel, automated, and efficient environmental disinfection technology that significantly reduces C. difficile, VRE and MRSA contamination on commonly touched hospital surfaces.
PMCID: PMC2910020  PMID: 20615229
18.  Assessment on Experimental Bacterial Biofilms and in Clinical Practice of the Efficacy of Sampling Solutions for Microbiological Testing of Endoscopes 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2012;50(3):938-942.
Opinions differ on the value of microbiological testing of endoscopes, which varies according to the technique used. We compared the efficacy on bacterial biofilms of sampling solutions used for the surveillance of the contamination of endoscope channels. To compare efficacy, we used an experimental model of a 48-h Pseudomonas biofilm grown on endoscope internal tubing. Sampling of this experimental biofilm was performed with a Tween 80-lecithin-based solution, saline, and sterile water. We also performed a randomized prospective study during routine clinical practice in our hospital sampling randomly with two different solutions the endoscopes after reprocessing. Biofilm recovery expressed as a logarithmic ratio of bacteria recovered on bacteria initially present in biofilm was significantly more effective with the Tween 80-lecithin-based solution than with saline solution (P = 0.002) and sterile water (P = 0.002). There was no significant difference between saline and sterile water. In the randomized clinical study, the rates of endoscopes that were contaminated with the Tween 80-lecithin-based sampling solution and the saline were 8/25 and 1/25, respectively (P = 0.02), and the mean numbers of bacteria recovered were 281 and 19 CFU/100 ml (P = 0.001), respectively. In conclusion, the efficiency and therefore the value of the monitoring of endoscope reprocessing by microbiological cultures is dependent on the sampling solutions used. A sampling solution with a tensioactive action is more efficient than saline in detecting biofilm contamination of endoscopes.
PMCID: PMC3295158  PMID: 22170930
19.  Gastric Cancer-Specific Protein Profile Identified Using Endoscopic Biopsy Samples via MALDI Mass Spectrometry 
Journal of proteome research  2010;9(8):4123-4130.
To date, proteomic analyses on gastrointestinal cancer tissue samples have been performed using surgical specimens only, which are obtained after a diagnosis is made. To determine if a proteomic signature obtained from endoscopic biopsy samples could be found to assist with diagnosis, frozen endoscopic biopsy samples collected from 63 gastric cancer patients and 43 healthy volunteers were analyzed using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry. A statistical classification model was developed to distinguish tumor from normal tissues using half the samples and validated with the other half. A protein profile was discovered consisting of 73 signals that could classify 32 cancer and 22 normal samples in the validation set with high predictive values (positive and negative predictive values for cancer, 96.8% and 91.3%; sensitivity, 93.8%; specificity, 95.5%). Signals overexpressed in tumors were identified as α-defensin-1, α-defensin-2, calgranulin A, and calgranulin B. A protein profile was also found to distinguish pathologic stage Ia (pT1N0M0) samples (n = 10) from more advanced stage (Ib or higher) tumors (n = 48). Thus, protein profiles obtained from endoscopic biopsy samples may be useful in assisting with the diagnosis of gastric cancer and, possibly, in identifying early stage disease.
PMCID: PMC3441055  PMID: 20557134
direct tissue MALDI; gastric cancer; diagnosis
20.  Aldehyde-Resistant Mycobacteria Associated with the Use of Endoscope Reprocessing Systems 
Bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics, but less is known about their ability to increase resistance to chemical disinfectants. This study randomly sampled three AERs in the USA using aldehydes for endoscope disinfection. Bacterial contamination was found post-disinfection in all AERs and some mycobacteria isolated demonstrated significant resistance to glutaraldehyde and OPA disinfectants. Bacteria can survive aldehyde-based disinfection and may pose a cross-contamination risk to patients.
PMCID: PMC3523318  PMID: 22325730
21.  Importance of the fiberoptic endoscope cleaning procedure for detection of Helicobacter pylori in gastric biopsy specimens by PCR. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1994;32(4):1123-1126.
A 16S ribosomal DNA-based PCR appeared to be a sensitive test for the detection of infection by Helicobacter pylori in 31 patients when compared with culturing and histological and serological techniques. For five patients, PCR was the only test with a positive result. H. pylori DNA was also found in gastrointestinal equipment even after standard intensive combined manual and machine cleaning. We therefore conclude that a reliable validation of PCR for the detection of H. pylori in gastric biopsy specimens is possible only when the cleaning and disinfection method used has been proven to remove all H. pylori DNA from gastrointestinal equipment. An adequate cleaning and disinfection method for the removal of H. pylori DNA from fiberoptic endoscopes is described.
PMCID: PMC267204  PMID: 7517952
22.  The antimicrobial effect of Octenidine-dihydrochloride coated polymer tracheotomy tubes on Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonisation 
BMC Microbiology  2009;9:150.
The surface of polymeric tracheotomy tubes is a favourable environment for biofilm formation and therefore represents a potential risk factor for the development of pneumonia after tracheotomy. The aim of this in-vitro study was to develop octenidine-dihydrochloride (OCT) coated polymer tracheotomy tubes and investigate any effects on Staphylococcus (S.) aureus and Pseudomonas (P.) aeruginosa colonization. Additionally the resistance of the OCT coating was tested using reprocessing procedures like brushing, rinsing and disinfection with glutaraldehyde
Contamination with S. aureus: Before any reprocessing, OCT coated tracheotomy tubes were colonized with 103 cfu/ml and uncoated tracheotomy tubes with 105 cfu/ml (P = 0.045). After reprocessing, no differences in bacterial concentration between modified and conventional tubes were observed.
Contamination with P. aeruginosa: Before reprocessing, OCT coated tubes were colonized with 106 cfu/ml and uncoated tubes with 107 cfu/ml (P = 0.006). After reprocessing, no significant differences were observed.
OCT coating initially inhibits S. aureus and P. aeruginosa colonisation on tracheotomy tubes. This effect, however, vanishes quickly after reprocessing of the tubes due to poor adhesive properties of the antimicrobial compound. Despite the known antimicrobial effect of OCT, its use for antimicrobial coating of tracheotomy tubes is limited unless methods are developed to allow sustained attachment to the tube.
PMCID: PMC2726150  PMID: 19630994
23.  Computer-aided recording of automatic endoscope washing and disinfection processes as an integral part of medical documentation for quality assurance purposes 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:76.
The reprocessing of medical endoscopes is carried out using automatic cleaning and disinfection machines. The documentation and archiving of records of properly conducted reprocessing procedures is the last and increasingly important part of the reprocessing cycle for flexible endoscopes.
This report describes a new computer program designed to monitor and document the automatic reprocessing of flexible endoscopes and accessories in fully automatic washer-disinfectors; it does not contain nor compensate the manual cleaning step. The program implements national standards for the monitoring of hygiene in flexible endoscopes and the guidelines for the reprocessing of medical products. No FDA approval has been obtained up to now. The advantages of this newly developed computer program are firstly that it simplifies the documentation procedures of medical endoscopes and that it could be used universally with any washer-disinfector and that it is independent of the various interfaces and software products provided by the individual suppliers of washer-disinfectors.
The computer program presented here has been tested on a total of four washer-disinfectors in more than 6000 medical examinations within 9 months.
We present for the first time an electronic documentation system for automated washer-disinfectors for medical devices e.g. flexible endoscopes which can be used on any washer-disinfectors that documents the procedures involved in the automatic cleaning process and can be easily connected to most hospital documentation systems.
PMCID: PMC2912802  PMID: 20615248
24.  Biopsy depth after radiofrequency ablation of dysplastic Barret's esophagus 
Gastrointestinal endoscopy  2010;72(3):490-496.e1.
After endoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of dysplastic Barrett's esophagus (BE), endoscopic biopsy samples are obtained to assess response to therapy. Whether these biopsies are of adequate depth to assess efficacy is unknown.
To compare the depth of endoscopic biopsy samples after RFA with those of untreated controls and to determine the prevalence of subepithelial structures in endoscopic biopsy fragments.
Secondary analysis of the AIM Dysplasia Trial, a multicenter, randomized, sham-controlled study.
Nineteen treatment centers.
Subjects with dysplastic BE, either status post RFA or ablation naïve (sham).
Main Outcome Measurements
The proportion of biopsy samples demonstrating subepithelial structures, stratified by tissue type (columnar vs squamous) in sham- and RFA-treated subjects.
A total of 5648 biopsy fragments were analyzed from 113 subjects (78 RFA, 35 sham; mean 50.0 fragments per subject). Most fragments (4653, 82.4%) contained subepithelium. Squamous biopsy samples from RFA and sham subjects demonstrated subepithelium at similar rates (78.4% vs 79.1%, respectively, P = not significant [NS]). Columnar biopsy samples from RFA and sham subjects also included subepithelium at similar rates (99.0% vs 98.8%, respectively, P = NS). Regardless of treatment assignment, more columnar than squamous biopsy samples demonstrated subepithelium (98.8% vs 78.5%, P < .001).
Biopsy samples were not individually mounted.
In both squamous and columnar tissue, endoscopic biopsy samples after RFA were as likely to demonstrate subepithelium as untreated controls. Almost 80% of all biopsy samples were adequate to evaluate for subsquamous intestinal metaplasia. The primary determinant of biopsy depth is the type of epithelium that underwent biopsy, with squamous less likely to yield subepithelium than columnar. Biopsy samples after RFA appear to be of adequate depth to assess response to therapy.
PMCID: PMC3093936  PMID: 20598302
25.  Aldehyde disinfectants and health in endoscopy unit 
Gut  1993;34(11):1641-1645.
Summary of main recommendations
(1) Glutaraldehyde, used in most endoscopy units in the United Kingdom for the disinfection of flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes, is a toxic substance being an irritant and a sensitiser; symptoms associated with glutaraldehyde exposure are common among staff working in endoscopy units.
(2) The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 (COSHH) obliges the employer to make a systematic assessment of risk to staff of exposure to glutaraldehyde and institute measures to deal effectively with exposure.
(3) At present glutaraldehyde remains the first line agent for the disinfection of flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes. Other agents are being developed; a standard means of assessment for flexible endoscope disinfectants should be devised.
(4) Equipment and accessories that are heat stable should be sterilised by autoclaving; disposable accessories should be used wherever possible.
(5) Flexible gastrointestinal endoscopes should be disinfected within automated washer/disinfectors; trays, bowls or buckets for this purpose are unacceptable.
(6) Local exhaust ventilation must be used to control glutaraldehyde vapour. Extracted air may be discharged direct to the atmosphere or passed over special absorbent filters and recirculated. Such control measures must be regularly tested and records retained.
(7) Endoscope cleaning and disinfection should be carried out in a room dedicated to the purpose, equipped with control measures to maintain the concentration of glutaraldehyde vapour at a level certainly below the current occupational exposure standard of 0·2 ppm and preferably below the commonly used working limit of 0·1 ppm. Sites other than the endoscopy unit where endoscopy is regularly performed, such as the radiology department, should have their own fully equipped cleaning and disinfection room.
(8) COSHH limits the use of personal protective equipment to those situations where other measures cannot adequately control exposure. Such equipment includes nitrile rubber gloves, apron, chemical grade eye protection, and respiratory protective equipment for organic vapours.
(9) Monitoring of atmospheric levels of glutaraldehyde should be performed by a competent person such as an occupational hygienist; the currently preferred method of sampling uses a filtration technique, the commercially available meters being less reliable.
(10) Health surveillance of staff is mandatory; occupational health records must be retained for 30 years.
(11) Endoscopy staff must be informed of the risks of exposure to glutaraldehyde and trained in safe methods of its control. Only staff who have completed such an education and training programme should be allowed to disinfect endoscopes.
(12) The unsafe use of glutaraldehyde has significant health and legal consequences; the safe use of glutaraldehyde may have revenue consequences that contribute significantly to the cost of gastrointestinal endoscopy.
PMCID: PMC1374441  PMID: 8244157

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