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Veterinary mobile phones contaminated with bacteria, study finds
Stapphylocci were found on 68 per cent of the PEDs swabbed.
Survey reveals only six per cent of hospital staff clean their devices daily.

Almost 70 per cent of tablets and mobile phones used in veterinary hospitals are contaminated with Staphylococcus bacteria, according to new research.

The study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice found that 68 per cent of portable electronic devices (PEDs) used by veterinary team members are contaminated with Staphylococci, including strains resistant to vancomycin and oxacillin.

In the study, researchers took swab samples from the screen and buttons of PEDs (such as mobile phones and tablets) of staff working with canine and feline patients. They also asked the participants to complete a questionnaire to discover how often their PEDs are used and to ascertain the frequency and method of PED cleaning.

Study author Georgia Vinall said: “Useable swab samples were taken from 47 devices; Staphylococcus spp. were cultured from 68 per cent of PEDs with a median of 10 colonies grown per device.

“Vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. were found on 36 per cent of devices, whilst oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus spp. were cultured from two per cent of devices. DNA sequencing identified three Staphylococcus species; S. capitis, S. epidermidis and S. hominis which are most likely associated with humans as either sources or transmission vectors.”

Ms Vinall continued: “The results of the survey indicate that 96 per staff of staff had a PED which they used in the hospital environment, of which 85 per cent use their device every day. Despite the high usage of PEDs in the hospital environment, only six per cent of staff cleaned their device daily, with 33 per cent of staff cleaning their PED less than weekly. Furthermore, only 54 per cent of staff cleaned their device with a disinfectant.”

JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo said: “This study demonstrates that PEDs may become contaminated with potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Although this specific study did not focus on transmission of these microorganisms, and therefore it is unclear what are the clinical implications of this finding, it seems prudent to develop appropriate protocols for cleaning of PEDs in veterinary hospitals.” 

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.