They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, but it appears that even feared superbugs like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii can be easily defeated by a little handwashing.
A study published in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal BMC Infectious Diseases found that a handwashing compliance rate of just 74% did a good job of keeping MRSA and A. baumannii contamination rates low on hospital ward computer equipment. Conducted by a team of researchers at Taiwan's Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, the study tracked hand-hygiene compliance rates among healthcare workers at a medical center in southern Taiwan and also tested computer keyboards and other mass-use information technology equipment for several bugs responsible for hospital-acquired infections. While workers missed the 100% compliance rate for handwashing by a full 26 percentage points, researchers found the IT equipment contamination rates for MRSA and A. baumannii to be just 1.1% and 4.3%, respectively.
While researchers didn't suggest the 74% hand-hygiene compliance rate was sufficient, they said the study findings indicate that routine disinfection and surveillance of computer equipment for bacteria responsible for hospital-acquired infections may not be necessary in nonoutbreak settings.