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Evaluation of automated floor cleaning, disinfection, and application methods against Staphylococcus aureus

      Highlights

      • Automated floor machine cleaning and disinfection were evaluated against Staphylococcus aureus.
      • Disinfection efficacy was concentration and disinfectant chemistry dependent.
      • Disinfectants reduced the risk of cross-contamination compared to a cleaner.
      • Machine components and wastewater could serve as pathogen reservoirs.

      Background

      Optimization of automated floor disinfection practices using different application methods and product types is important to ensure that pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus do not transfer from contaminated floors to other high contact areas resulting in healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). We hypothesized that there would be significant differences among the disinfectants and a cleaner under different application methods. Also, performance of application methods would be dependent upon type of product used.

      Methods

      We tested and compared efficacies of 5 EPA registered disinfectants and one cleaner using an automated Taski 455B floor cleaner against S aureus ATCC 6538 on 2 meters of contaminated vinyl flooring using 3 application methods.

      Results

      Hydrogen peroxide and quaternary ammonium compounds were more efficacious against S aureus than the neutral cleaner. There were no significant differences among the sampling areas tested and application methods regardless of product type. Mean log10 densities recovered from different machine parts and wastewater collected were statistically higher for the cleaner than disinfectants.

      Conclusions

      All disinfectants had more bactericidal efficacy than the cleaner for all sampling zones on the tested floor. Overall, performance of the floor machine is dependent upon the type of product used.

      Key Words

      Abbreviations:

      ATCC (American type Culture collection), CDC (Center for Disease Control), HAIs (Healthcare-associated infections), HP (Hydrogen peroxide), QA (Quaternary Ammonium), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), MSA (Mannitol Salt Agar)
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