Survival of Clostridioides difficile spores in thermal and chemo-thermal laundering processes and influence of the exosporium on their adherence to cotton bed sheets

Date

2022-08-18

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

1472-765X

Volume Title

Publisher

Letters in Applied Microbiology

Type

Article

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

Clostridioides difficile spores were previously demonstrated to survive industrial laundering. Understanding interactions between heat, disinfectants and soiling (e.g. bodily fluids) affecting C. difficile spore survival could inform the optimization of healthcare laundry processes. Reducing spore attachment to linen could also enhance laundering efficacy. This study aimed to compare the sensitivity of C. difficile spores to heat and detergent, with and without soiling and to investigate adherence to cotton. Survival of C. difficile spores exposed to industrial laundering temperatures (71–90°C), reference detergent and industrial detergent was quantified with and without soiling. The adherence to cotton after 0 and 24 h air drying was determined with the exosporium of C. difficile spores partially or fully removed. Clostridioides difficile spores were stable at 71°C for 20 min (≤0·37 log10 reduction) while 90°C was sporicidal (3 log10 reduction); soiling exerted a protective effect. Industrial detergent was more effective at 71°C compared to 25°C (2·81 vs 0·84 log10 reductions), however, specifications for sporicidal activity (>3 log10 reduction) were not met. Clostridioides difficile spores increasingly adhered to cotton over time, with 49% adherence after 24 h. Removal of the exosporium increased adherence by 19–23% compared to untreated spores. Further understanding of the role of the exosporium in attachment to cotton could enhance spore removal and aid decontamination of linen.

Description

open access article

Keywords

adherence, chemo-thermal disinfection, Clostridioides difficile, cotton, detergent, exosporium, hospital, laundry, spores, thermal disinfection

Citation

Tarrant, J., Jenkins, R., Owen, L. and Laird, K. (2022) Survival of Clostridioides difficile spores in thermal and chemo-thermal laundering processes and influence of the exosporium on their adherence to cotton bed sheets. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 75 (6), pp. 1449-1459

Rights

Research Institute

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