Original Articles

Study on Bacteria Associated with White Coats of Healthcare Workers in Two Tertiary Hospitals, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Health care-associated infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in hospitals. Reports have shown that nurses’ uniforms are sources of health care-associated infection transmission. The present study assessed the rate of bacterial contamination of healthcare worker’s white coats in two tertiary hospitals in Mashhad, Iran.Methods: 300 healthcare workers participated in the study from July to October 2011. Samples were obtained with a sterile swab from the outer surfaces of three sites of the white coat including the cuff, pocket mouth of the dominant hand and abdominal region. The samples were examined according to standard procedures. Results: Overall, 1220 microorganisms belonging to 13 different genera were isolated from a total of 900 samples. All 300 white coats were contaminated by bacteria of which 282 (94%) were pathogenic. The abdominal region had significantly higher number of isolates than the pocket and sleeve (p = 0.02). The white coats of “cardiac surgery ICU” and “surgery ward” had the mean highest number  of  isolates.  Gram-positive  Bacilli  (36.1%)  were  the  most  common isolates followed by Staphylococcus aureus (28%) and coagulase-negative Staphylococci (24.8%).Conclusion: Health care workers’ white coats are contaminated with a variety of bacteria. In order to reduce cross contamination from white coats to patients, re- educational programs and stricter rules of laundering and changing white coats are suggested.

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IssueVol 2 No 3-4 (2013) QRcode
SectionOriginal Articles
Cross Infection Equipement Contamination Environment Microbiology Health Personnel

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How to Cite
Moravvej Z, Fakhar Y, Naderi-Nasab M, Askari E. Study on Bacteria Associated with White Coats of Healthcare Workers in Two Tertiary Hospitals, Mashhad, Iran. J Med Bacteriol. 2015;2(3-4):17-25.