Efficiency of Laundering Processes against Clostridioides difficile

R. Marques, C. Amberg

Clostridioides difficile associated infections (CDI) develop frequently in hospitalized, elderly patients after an antibiotic treatment.
The infection is highly contagious and can be transmitted to other patients when cleaning and disinfection measures
are insufficient. Textiles like bed linens or health care personnel uniforms can be involved in the spread of CDI. Spore-forming
bacteria are difficult to inactivate and laundering processes efficient against pathogens like Escherichia coli or Staphylococcus
aureus, may be insufficient for C. difficile spores.
In the present study, the sporicidal effect of laundering processes was investigated systematically. Simulated washing tests were
performed with biomonitors containing Bacillus subtilis spores. B. subtilis is a suitable model strain for C. difficile with comparable
tolerance against disinfectants, heat and extreme pH values. The efficiency of different Peracetic acid (PAA) and sodium
hypochlorite concentrations against B. subtilis spores was tested at different temperatures and contact times. Furthermore,
a bleach-containing household detergent was included in the investigation.
PAA concentrations, typically applied in I&I laundry cycles, were able to reduce B. subtilis spores sufficiently. Less effective were
the tested NaClO-concentrations. The household laundry detergent failed to remove a significant number of bacterial spores.
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