Fungal contamination in white medical coats of dentistry professionals
Background: The white medical coats used by health professionals may serve as a source of infection in health services because it is a potential vehicle for transmission of microorganisms. There are several studies that warn of the inherent dangers in bacterial contamination in lab coats, but there are few reports of fungal contamination in this personal protection equipment.
Aims: The study aims to identify fungi in dental lab coats.
Method: Samples were collected from ten dentists from a dentistry-school clinic of a higher education institution of Teresina, Piauí, Brazil, using sterile swab, soaked in saline contained in a test tube. Each sample was inoculated on chloramphenicol-containing Saboroud Dextrose agar and incubated at room temperature for fungal growth. Phenotypic and biochemical methods were used to identify the colonies.
Results: Fungal growth was observed in all samples of the lab coats, and 19 isolates were counted. The genera Cladosporium and Aspergillus were the most frequent in this study. The results emphasize the role of fungi as contaminants in lab coats; and, as an effective means of transmission of pathogens in the community.
Conclusions: This study suggests a methodology for the proper washing and decontamination of the lab coat and advocates the need to implement more rigid norms in concern to the use of lab coats, as well as educational campaigns to guide dentists about the correct use of this Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
Keywords: Individual Protection Equipment. Fungi. Cross infection.
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