European Orthopaedics and Traumatology

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 177–182 | Cite as

Antibacterial finishing reduces hospital textiles contamination. An experimental study

  • Carlo Luca Romanò
  • Delia Romanò
  • Elena De Vecchi
  • Nicola Logoluso
  • Lorenzo Drago
Original Article


Introduction and methods

Contaminated dressings are particularly suitable for growth of microorganisms and a well-known source of bacterial spreading in the hospital environment. This study evaluates the bacterial contamination of white coats and surgical gowns and drapes treated with a novel antibacterial finishing technology of hospital textiles. Bacterial contamination rates of untreated white coats and surgical gowns and drapes were compared to treated textiles. In vitro determination of antibacterial activity against reference bacterial strains and clinical isolates was performed according to the European guideline EN ISO 20645. Efficacy of the treatment was verified in clinical setting by comparing the amount of bacteria isolated from treated and untreated textiles used for clinical and surgical activities.

Result and conclusion

Treated textiles demonstrated in vitro activity against most of the tested microorganisms with the exception of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Bacterial contamination was markedly lower for treated white coats after 1 week of use and for surgical gowns and textiles at the end of surgery when compared to untreated dressings and textiles used in the same conditions. The tested treatment proved to be able to reduce bacterial contamination of hospital textiles both in vitro and in the clinical and surgical settings.


Textiles Hospital Finishing Infection 



This study was partially supported by the Italian Ministry of Health and is part of an ongoing research under the “AMICROTEX Project”, co-financed through POR FESR 2007–2013 (European funds for regional development) 13587782 cup E7I0000090007-ATP Competition 2009, by the European Union, the Italian Government and the Region of Lombardy, in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) 1828/2006, Council Regulation (EC) 1083/2006 and the rules set forth by the Region of Lombardy.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Loh W, Ng VV, Holton J (2000) Bacterial flora on the white coats of medical students. J Hosp Infect 45:65–68PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Malnick S, Bardenstein R, Huszar M, Gabbay J, Borkow G (2008) Pyjamas and sheets as a potential source of nosocomial pathogens. J Hosp Infect 70:89–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Srinivasan M, Uma A, Vinodhkumaradithyaa S, Gomathi S, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian P (2007) The medical overcoat—is it a transmitting agent for bacterial pathogen? Jpn J Infect Dis 60:21–22Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Weist K, Pollege K, Schulz I, Rüden H, Gastmeier P (2002) How many nosocomial infections are associated with cross-transmission? A prospective cohort study in a surgical intensive care unit. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 23:127–132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wong D, Nye K, Hollis P (1991) Microbial flora on doctors’ white coats. BMJ 303:1602–1604PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Uneke CJ, Ijeoma PA (2010) The potential for nosocomial infection transmission by white coats used by physicians in Nigeria: implications for improved patient-safety initiatives. World Health Popul 11:44–54PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Butler DL, Major Y, Bearman G, Edmond MB (2010) Transmission of nosocomial pathogens by white coats: an in-vitro model. J Hosp Infect 75:136–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schindler W, Hauser P (2004) Antimicrobial finishes chemical finishing of textiles. Woodhead Publishing Limited, Cambridge, p 213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Gao Y, Cranston R (2008) Recent advances in antimicrobial treatments of textiles. Text Res J 78:60. doi: 10.1177/0040517507082332 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bannister GC (2002) Prevention of infection in joint replacement. Curr Orthop 16:426–433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bible JE, Biswas D, Whang PG, Simpson AK, Grauer JN (2009) Which regions of the operating gown should be considered most sterile? Clin Orthop Rel Res 467:825–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Blom AW, Barnett A, Ajitsaria P, Noel A, Estela CM (2007) Resistance of disposable drapes to bacterial penetration. J Orth Surg 15:267–269Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lankester BJ, Bartlett GE, Garneti N, Blom AW, Bowker KE, Bannister GC (2002) Direct measurement of bacterial penetration through surgical gowns: a new method. J Hosp Infect 50:281–285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bischof Vukušić S, Flinčec Grgac S, Budimir A, Kalenić S (2011) Cotton textiles modified with citric acid as efficient anti-bacterial agent for prevention of nosocomial infections. Croatian Med J 52:68–75CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kimiran Erdem A, Sanli Yurudu NO (2008) The evaluation of antibacterial activity of fabrics impregnated with dimethyltetradecyl (3-(trimethoxysilyl) propyl) ammonium chloride. IUFS J Biol 67:115–122Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Renaud FNR, Doré J, Freney HJ, Coronel B, Dusseau JY (2006) Evaluation of antibacterial properties of a textile product with antimicrobial finish in a hospital environment. J Ind Text 36:89–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Tanner J, Swarbrook S, Stuart J (2008) Surgical hand antisepsis to reduce surgical site infection. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 23(1):CD004288Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dharan S, Pittet D (2002) Environmental controls in operating theatres. J Hosp Infect 51(2):79–84PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dancer SJ (2004) How do we assess hospital cleaning? A proposal for microbiological standards for surface hygiene in hospitals. J Hosp Infect 56(1):10–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© EFORT 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Luca Romanò
    • 1
  • Delia Romanò
    • 1
  • Elena De Vecchi
    • 2
  • Nicola Logoluso
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Drago
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Centro di Chirurgia Ricostruttiva e delle Infezioni Osteo-articolariGruppo Ospedaliero San Donato Foundation - IRCCS Galeazzi InstituteMilanItaly
  2. 2.Laboratorio di Analisi Cliniche e MicrobiologiaGruppo Ospedaliero San Donato Foundation - IRCCS Galeazzi InstituteMilanItaly
  3. 3.Laboratorio di Analisi Cliniche e Microbiologia, Ospedale Luigi SaccoUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations