5 years ago

Bacterial contamination of ultrasound probes in different radiological institutions before and after specific hygiene training: do we have a general hygienical problem?

Thomas Sartoretti, Andreas Gutzeit, Candid Bucher, Matthias Meissnitzer, Sebastian Kos, Christina Orasch, Johannes Froehlich, Aleksis Doert, Elisabeth Sartoretti, Simon Matoori, Sabine Sartoretti-Schefer, Klaus Hergan, Christoph Binkert, Orpheus Kolokythas



Aim was to investigate hygienic conditions of ultrasound probes before and after hygiene training in radiology institutions in comparison to bacterial contamination in public places.


In three radiology departments, bacterial contamination was evaluated using baseline agar plates for cultures taken from 36 ultrasound probes. Afterwards teams were trained by a hygiene service centre and 36 ultrasound probes were routinely disinfected with regular disinfecting wipes and then evaluated. In comparison, bacterial contamination in public places (bus poles, n = 11; toilet seats, n = 10) were analysed. Plates were routinely incubated and the number of colony forming units (CFU) analysed.


Cultures taken from the probes showed a median of 53 CFU before and 0 CFU after training (p < 0.001). Cultures taken from public places showed a median of 4 CFU from toilets and 28 from bus poles and had lower bacterial load in comparison to ultrasound probes before training (p = 0.055, toilets; p = 0.772, bus poles), without statistical significance.


Bacterial contamination of ultrasound probes prior to hygiene training proved to be high and showed higher bacterial load than toilets seats or bus poles. Radiologists should be aware that the lack of hygiene in the field of ultrasound diagnostics puts patients at risk of healthcare-associated infections.

Key points

Hospital-associated infections are a problem for patient care.

Hygiene training of staff prevents bacterial contamination of ultrasound probes.

Disinfection of ultrasound probes is an easy method to protect patients.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00330-017-4812-1

DOI: 10.1007/s00330-017-4812-1

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.