Environmental sampling in hospitals is becoming increasingly important because of the rise in nosocomial infections. In order to monitor and track these infections and optimize cleaning and disinfection, we need to be able to locate the fomites with the highest amount of microorganisms, but the optimal method for this is not clear. The aim of this study was to evaluate which of four different dipslides or a standard TSA contact plate were best at recovering human bacteria from the environment. We tested four different dipslides with selective and non-selective agars versus a standard TSA contact plate in order to find the best sampling media. Two hundred sites in a children's medical ward in Copenhagen University hospital were sampled in autumn 2012. There was no difference in total bacteria count between the TSA contact plate and the dipslides. Faecal indicator bacteria recovery was the same for the dipslides and the TSA contact plate. Dipslides may be equally well suited for environmental sampling and hygiene assessment as TSA contact plates. Dipslides have some advantages, such as better sample security, easier sampling in confined spaces and longer shelf life that may speak in favour of choosing these for bacteria environmental sampling in hospitals, depending on the task.
European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases : Official Publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology, 2014, Vol 33, Issue 5, p. 809-13