Development of a Standardised International Protocol for Evaluation of the Disinfection Efficacy of Healthcare Laundry Wash Processes

Date

2024-01-18

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

MDPI

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

This research aims to develop a standardised protocol for monitoring the disinfection efficacy of healthcare laundry processes in view of numerous differential methodologies currently being employed within the healthcare laundry sector, including agitation and surface sampling for post-laundering decontamination assessment and swatch and bioindicator testing for in-wash-process efficacy. Enterococcus faecium as an indicator species within industrial wash systems is preferable due to its high thermal and disinfectant tolerance. Methods for measuring laundry disinfection were compared; commercially available E. faecium bioindicators and contaminated cotton swatches (loose, in cloth bags or within nylon membranes) were laundered industrially at ambient temperature and microbial recovery determined. E. faecium was lost from cotton during laundering but retained by the bioindicator membrane, which allows disinfection efficacy to be measured without loss of microorganisms from the test swatch. Commercially available bioindicators were only permeable to disinfectants and detergents at ≥60 °C. Subsequently, polyethersulphone membranes for enclosing contaminated swatches were developed for low-temperature laundering, with permeability to industrial laundry chemistries at below ≤60 °C. This study demonstrates that bioindicators are the recommended methodology for laundry disinfection validation. The use of a universal healthcare laundry disinfection methodology will lead to standardised microbiological testing across the industry and improvements in infection control

Description

open access article

Keywords

Citation

Owen, L., Cayrou, C., Page, G., Grootveld, M. and Laird, K. (2024) Development of a Standardised International Protocol for Evaluation of the Disinfection Efficacy of Healthcare Laundry Wash Processes. Applied Microbiology 4, (1) pp. 194-214

Rights

Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/

Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)