BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION OF OPERATING THEATRES: A CASE STUDY OF A HOSPITAL IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
Microbial contamination of the Operating Theatre (OT) has continued to increase the prevalence of nosocomial infections. This study assessed the level of microbial contamination and the antimicrobial pattern of the bacterial isolates. Swab plate method was used to collect samples from surfaces and other articles in the major OT. Collected samples were transported and microbiologically processed using standard procedures. Three hundred and fifty (350) swab specimens were collected from various inanimate objects and surfaces in the operating theatre. Of the three hundred and fifty specimens collected, two hundred and five (205=58.6 %) swab specimens had bacterial growth. The total of 393 bacterial pathogens were recovered from all specimens processed during the study. Among these, 245(62.3 %) were Gram-positive and 148(37.7 %) were Gram-negative bacteria. The bacteria isolates were, Staphylococcus aureus 50(57.5 %), Coagulase negative Staphylococci 19(21.8 %), Bacillus species 9(10.3 %), Enterobacter species 6(3.8 %), Micrococcus species 6(6.9 %), Streptococcus species 3(4.4 %).Proteus species 128(86.5 %), E. coli 13(8.8 %), and Salmonella species 7(4.7 %). Antibiotic susceptibility pattern of bacterial pathogens showed overall sensitivity of 95 % to Rocephin. 3(100 %). Erythromycin and Gentamycin were resistant to the tested organisms. In general, the results indicate that Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative Staphylococci and Proteus species were the major species contaminating the surfaces in the operating rooms. This may be due to Staphylococci been of human origin. Microbiological surveillance of operating theatres can play an important role in reducing bacterial contamination consequently preoperative infectious episodes can be reduced considerably.