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Use of fluorescent tagging for assessment of environmental cleaning and disinfection in a veterinary hospital
  1. J. S. Weese,
  2. T. Lowe and
  3. M. Walker
  1. Department of Pathobiology and Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G2W1, Canada
  1. E-mails for correspondence: jsweese{at}

Environmental cleaning was assessed at a small animal veterinary referral hospital and associated primary healthcare facility. A convenience sample of surfaces was contaminated with fluorescent dye, and then cleaning was assessed 24 hours later by UV light visualisation. Five hundred sixty-three sites were assessed; however, 70 sites were unable to be evaluated 24 hours later because equipment had been removed or because rooms were occupied at the time of re-evaluation. Overall, dye was removed from 212/493 (43%) of sites. Site-specific rates ranged from 14% (computer keyboards and mice, 9/66 site cleaned) to 81% (examination tables, 44/54 sites cleaned). There was a significant difference in the prevalence of successful cleaning by general location (P < 0.0001) and surface type (P < 0.0001). Environmental tagging was an easy and low-cost tool to assess cleaning practices. Results prompted further infection control investigations to explain selected deficiencies, leading to identification of inadequacies in protocols and practices. Environmental tagging may be a useful infection control tool for establishing baseline cleaning rates, identifying deficiencies in protocols, evaluating the effects of interventions and education of personnel.

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  • Provenance Provenance: not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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