Development of a PCR based high-speed method for proof and documentation of a requirement-fair surface cleaning and disinfection in accordance with the new RKI guideline
IGF 14974 N
The disinfecting cleaning within the health area represents an economically attractive service with further growth potential for the cleaning service enterprises. However, over the last years the hygiene requirements increased constantly in medical and other hygienically fastidious areas. This has also serious consequences for the cleaning enterprises. Operating rooms, maternity rooms, intensive care units etc. were already in the focus of hygiene measures; besides dialysis units, hospital sterile supplies, clinical laboratories, baths and kitchens are also recognized as to be critical areas according to the guidelines of Robert-Koch-Institute (RKI). The newest RKI guideline about surface disinfection differentiates certain areas into categories with “special infection risk”, “possible infection risk” and “without infection risk”. Now only lecture-rooms and stairways etc. belong into the category “without infection risk”; general stations and outpatient clinics are already considered to be “possibly riskily”. According to the RKI guidelines such areas need to be systematically disinfected a) if there is a recognizable contamination, b) in the context of a terminal disinfection, c) in outbreak situations as well as d) if special germs occur; even so called patient-far surfaces must be included then. In any case it should be ensured that germs can’t be transferred from “uncritical” areas to more critical areas. For prevention as well as detection of improper cleaning or disinfection measures the RKI advises hygienic controls of disinfection and cleaning methods and from procedures and workflows for the processing of the cleaning utensils as parts of quality management and quality assurance systems. Because of this advises the hygiene commissions of the hospitals demand such hygiene controls on internal cleaning personnel and also obligatorily on external cleaning service enterprises. In order to satisfy the mentioned demands, in the future it will be essential for the cleaning service enterprises to prove and document the hygienic quality of their work in each individual case. Only this way they can obtain and expand their market share and fulfill the requirements of their customers. In the finished project a fast method including an adapted sampling possibility was developed that is suitable for measuring the surface quality regarding microbiological contaminations within 90 minutes. The method is based on realTime-PCR and was optimised to detect RNA. RNA is not stable for a longer time on surfaces like DNA and thus its presence indicates the presence of vegetative microorganisms.
The IGF-project 14974 N of the research association European Cleaning and Hygiene Technology Research Association, Campus Fichtenhain 11, D-47807 Krefeld, was supported via the AiF within the funding programme „Industrielle Gemeinschaftsforschung und –entwicklung (IGF)“ by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWi) due to a decision of the German Parliament.
The research report is available on request from FRT.