Papers And Originals

Hand Carriage of Gram-negative Bacilli and Staphylococcus aureus

Br Med J 1973; 2 doi: (Published 09 June 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;2:580
  1. Johan N. Bruun,
  2. Claus O. Solberg


    The influence of hexachlorophane disinfection on the bacterial hand flora of hospital personnel has been examined. Hexachlorophane effectively reduced the total number of bacteria and the staphylococcal carriage. Gram-negative bacilli were isolated from 18·8% of the personnel, and 13% of the carriers continued to carry Gram-negative bacilli for more than six months. The carrier rate was significantly higher among those using hexachlorophane detergents (20·8%) than among those using plain soap (14·1%). Prolonged hand carriage of Gram-negative bacilli was often associated with skin irritation, especially of the nailfolds. Hand carriage may be an important source of Gram-negative infections in hospital, and the increase in these infections may partly be due to extensive use of hexachlorophane preparations.