May 25, 2017
A recent study illustrates how bacteria colonize and spread between patients, staff and surfaces within a newly constructed hospital. Researchers say the findings may provide a context for future studies examining the transmission of hospital-acquired infections.
“We’ve created a detailed map, highly relevant to clinical practice, of microbial exchange and interaction in a large hospital environment,” Jack Gilbert, PhD, director of the Microbiome Center and professor of surgery at the University of Chicago, said in a press release. “This describes the ecology of a building, a thriving microbial ecosystem that regularly interacts with patients in a seemingly benign way — at least most people don’t appear to be negatively affected. It gives us a framework, something we can build on, showing how microorganisms enter and colonize a hospital environment.”