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Dealing with contaminated computer keyboards and microbial survival

      I read with interest the excellent article by Bures et al,
      • Bures S
      • Fishbain JT
      • Uyehara CFT
      • Parker JM
      • Berg BW
      Computer keyboards and faucet handles as reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens in the intensive care unit.
      entitled “Computer keyboards and faucet handles as reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens in the intensive care unit,” in the December issue of the Journal. As a minor point, I take issue with the authors’ designation of computer keyboards and faucet handles as “novel and unrecognized fomites.” Faucet handles have long been recognized as potential fomites, which is why it is required by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) that foot, knee, or sensor controls be used to operate sinks in areas where the risk of contamination by touching faucet handles should be eliminated (eg, scrub sinks for operating rooms, neonatal intensive care units).
      • Bartley J
      Water issues in healthcare.
      In addition, at least 1 report has been made about computer keyboards serving as reservoirs for bacteria.
      • Neely AN
      • Maley MP
      • Warden GD
      Computer keyboards as reservoirs for Acinetobacter baumannii in a burn hospital.
      However, I strongly agree with the authors’ conclusion that these inanimate objects can act as reservoirs for nosocomial pathogens, and I applaud the molecular sophistication that the authors used to reach their conclusions.
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      References

        • Bures S
        • Fishbain JT
        • Uyehara CFT
        • Parker JM
        • Berg BW
        Computer keyboards and faucet handles as reservoirs of nosocomial pathogens in the intensive care unit.
        AJIC Am J Infect Control. 2000; 28: 465-470
        • Bartley J
        Water issues in healthcare.
        in: APIC text of infection control and epidemiology. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc, Washington (DC)2000: 78-84
        • Neely AN
        • Maley MP
        • Warden GD
        Computer keyboards as reservoirs for Acinetobacter baumannii in a burn hospital.
        Clin Infect Dis. 1999; 29: 1358-1359
        • Neely AN
        • Maley MP
        Survival of enterococci and staphylococci on hospital fabrics and plastic.
        J Clin Microbiol. 2000; 38: 724-726
        • Neely AN
        A survey of gram-negative bacteria survival on hospital fabrics and plastics.
        J Burn Care Rehab. 2000; 21: 523-527