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CDC Issues Protocol for Testing Duodenoscopes for Bacteria

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed interim protocol for testing duodenoscopes for contamination with bacteria, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

The announcement follows recent CRE outbreaks at two Los Angeles hospitals that occurred without identified lapses of infection control, the CDC said in a March 11 news release.

The interim protocol provides a step-by-step approach for hospitals and other facilities that want to check whether scopes could be a source of infection for patients. Included are suggestions for how scopes should be sampled, options for the frequency and types of sampling, how to test those samples in a lab, and how to interpret results. The CDC stressed that sampling is not a substitute for correct cleaning and disinfection of scopes and that the interim protocol is intended to supplement, rather than replace, manufacturer-recommended reprocessing procedures.

CDC said it will work with partners, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, medical specialty societies, subject matter experts, and state and local health departments to further understand and respond to the possibility of bacteria transmission related to duodenoscopes.

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About the Author

Graziano is senior director of communications for America's Essential Hospitals.

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