Chapter 13.3 : Policies for Environmental Sampling and Culturing for Infection Control

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Policies for Environmental Sampling and Culturing for Infection Control, Page 1 of 2

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Sampling of the environment should be performed only to answer a specific question, whether to support a defined hypothesis or to confirm an association generated by an epidemiologic investigation. Culturing for infection control purposes should be systematic, consistent, and part of a written infection control plan that is reviewed at least yearly and is specific to each facility. Arbitrary sampling risks generation of irrelevant or uninterpretable information. Worse, such information may be frankly misleading. In each case, inappropriate culturing can result in wasted effort and resources and may even cause harm to patients or personnel. For example, if arbitrary culturing identifies an irrelevant source of an organism, the epidemiologically important source may go undetected, leading to further unnecessary exposures.

Citation: Garcia L. 2010. Policies for Environmental Sampling and Culturing for Infection Control, p 437-439. In Clinical Microbiology Procedures Handbook, 3rd Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817435.ch13.3
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