Curtis Donskey and colleagues from the Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Ohio, US, collected stool samples from inpatients and analysed these for S. aureus. The researchers also took samples from the patients’ nostrils, armpits and groins, as well as surrounding surfaces such as bed rails and bedside tables using a moist cotton swab. To determine whether these bacteria would be transferred to the researchers’ hands they bravely touched each of the skin and environmental sites with one hand previously disinfected with an alcohol hand rub. Handprints in agar jelly before and after testing were used to determine the presence of bacterial transfer.
The study’s most important finding was that patients harbouring S. aureus in both their intestines and noses were significantly more likely than those with this bacterium in their nostrils alone to have positive skin cultures. There was also a statistically non-significant trend toward contaminating surrounding surfaces and bacterial transfer to the investigator’s hands.
Cultures from environmental surfaces yielded an average of 12.7 colonies with a range of 1 to 80, while cultures from armpits and groins yielded colonies of bacteria “too numerous to count.” Hand cultures after contact with environmental and skin surfaces yielded an average of 15.3 colonies with a range of 1 to 80. Most of the patients colonized with S. aureus had the MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) strain, which is unaffected by treatment with certain antibiotics.
“Because staphylococci on skin may contaminate devices or wounds and be acquired on hands, our data provide support for the hypothesis that colonization of the intestinal tract may facilitate S. aureus infections and nosocomial transmission,” Donskey says.
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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