Skip to main content
  • Oral presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

O067: Poorly processed reusable dispensers for surface disinfection tissues are a possible source of infection


Reusable surface disinfectant (SD) tissue dispensers are used in hospitals in many countries because they allow immediate access to soaked tissues for targeted surface decontamination.


We determined the frequency of contaminated SD solutions in reusable dispensers and the ability of isolates to multiply in different formulations.


Dispensers with different SD were randomly collected from healthcare facilities. Solutions were investigated for bacterial contamination using standard microbiological methods. Isolates of the same species were investigated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) for clonal identity. The efficacy of two SD was determined in suspension tests (EN 13727) under dirty conditions against two isolated species directly from a contaminated solution or after 5 passages without selection pressure in triplicate. Fresh use solutions of four different types of SD were contaminated with a fresh dispenser isolate to determine its survival or multiplication over 28 days.


66 dispensers containing SD solutions with surface-active ingredients were collected from 15 healthcare facilities. 28 dispensers from nine healthcare facilities were contaminated with approximately 107 cells per mL of Achromobacter species 3 (9 hospitals), Achromobacter xylosoxidans or Serratia marcescens (1 hospital each). Clonal non-identity was shown for 8 of 9 Achromobacter species 3 isolates. In none of the hospitals dispenser processing was adequately performed. Isolates regained susceptibility to the SD after five passages without selection pressure, for example against Achromobacter species 3 with a mean log10-reduction of 0.06 initially and 2.37 after 5 passages (Incidin plus 0.5% for 60 min). Adapted and passaged cells were equally able to multiply in different formulations from different manufacturers with surface-active ingredients at room temperature within 7 days to a cell count of 107 bacteria per mL, only a formulation with additional aldehyde was able to completely kill the contamination.


Neglecting adequate processing of tissue dispensers has contributed to frequent and heavy contamination of use-solutions of SD based on surface active ingredients.

Disclosure of interest

G. Kampf Employee of Bode Chemie GmbH, Hamburg, Germany, H. von Baum: None declared, C. Ostermeyer Employee of Bode Chemie GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kampf, G., von Baum, H. & Ostermeyer, C. O067: Poorly processed reusable dispensers for surface disinfection tissues are a possible source of infection. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 2 (Suppl 1), O67 (2013).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: