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Hygiene, Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 11 articles

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7 pages, 1195 KiB  
Article
Compliance of the Dryness of Dental Handpieces for Their Sterilization under Various Treatment Conditions
by Axel Fruhauf, Gabriel Fernandez de Grado, Julie Scholler and Damien Offner
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 231-237; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020019 - 18 Jun 2024
Viewed by 777
Abstract
Objectives: In the protocol for cleaning and sterilizing dental handpieces (DHs), water retention within the instrument poses a challenge and may compromise the sterilization process. This study aimed to assess the reliability and reproducibility of the sterilization protocol regarding the dryness of DHs. [...] Read more.
Objectives: In the protocol for cleaning and sterilizing dental handpieces (DHs), water retention within the instrument poses a challenge and may compromise the sterilization process. This study aimed to assess the reliability and reproducibility of the sterilization protocol regarding the dryness of DHs. It evaluated the presence of residual water in these instruments after various conditions of treatment through multiple dryness tests. Methods: This comparative study examined the dryness of seven different DHs following five washing–disinfection and/or sterilization protocols. Dabbing tests, shaking by hand, or compressed air tests through DHs and over absorbent paper were employed to ascertain the thorough dryness of DHs after treatment. As soon as the first sign of water appeared on the absorbent paper, the DH was deemed to be not dry. Results: Upon completion of the washing–disinfection protocol without sterilization, five out of seven DHs were deemed dry using the dabbing test, yet none were fully dry when subjected to shaking or compressed air. However, in the four protocols incorporating final sterilization, all DHs were dry according to the three drying tests. Conclusion: This study underscores the essential role of the sterilization step in eliminating residual water from DHs, thereby ensuring optimal conditions for effective sterilization in terms of dryness. Furthermore, the study recommends against relying solely on the dabbing drying test, emphasizing the importance of shaking or using compressed air to confirm instrument dryness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oral and Dental Hygiene)
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10 pages, 969 KiB  
Article
Oral Hygiene Practices and Oral Health Knowledge among Adult Orthodontic Patients: A Best Practice Implementation Project
by Antonija Tadin, Marija Badrov, Branimira Mikelic Vitasovic and Tina Poklepovic Pericic
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 221-230; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020018 - 3 Jun 2024
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Orthodontic therapy is associated with a more significant accumulation of dentobacterial plaque and impaired oral hygiene, which increase the risk of developing dental caries and periodontal disease. Therefore, it is crucial to educate orthodontic patients about proper oral hygiene maintenance and oral health [...] Read more.
Orthodontic therapy is associated with a more significant accumulation of dentobacterial plaque and impaired oral hygiene, which increase the risk of developing dental caries and periodontal disease. Therefore, it is crucial to educate orthodontic patients about proper oral hygiene maintenance and oral health before and during treatment. The aim of this pilot study was to implement evidence-based best practices related to oral hygiene in adult orthodontic patients and improve compliance. In addition to evaluating oral hygiene practices, another goal of the project was to assess the knowledge of orthodontic patients regarding oral health. Questionnaires with seven pre- (before) and post-test criteria (90 day after implementation) were developed based on the best evidence available. This project was conducted in a private dental clinic in Split, Croatia, and included 45 patients. The baseline audit showed a gap between clinical practice and the best evidence. Three criteria achieved a high compliance baseline, while after implementation, there were substantial improvements in compliance for all. The everyday use of mouthwash improved from 17.8% at baseline to 66.7% at follow-up, as did the use of interdental aids, which increased from 55.6% to 91.1%. Statistically significant differences were found in the total score for oral health knowledge between the baseline (6.67 ± 1.74) and the follow-up audit (7.78 ± 0.56, p ≤ 0.001). The strategies developed in this project were effective in providing essential information to adult orthodontic patients and improving compliance with evidence. Guidelines on this topic should be designed to assist orthodontists and patients in maintaining oral health and oral hygiene. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oral and Dental Hygiene)
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14 pages, 507 KiB  
Article
Specific Personal Hygiene Procedures and Practices in Food Handlers—A Cross-Sectional Study in Butcher and Fishmonger Shops in Almada
by Inês Oliveira, Miguel Almeida, João J. Ferreira Gomes and Ana Rita Henriques
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 207-220; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020017 - 31 May 2024
Viewed by 484
Abstract
Good manufacturing practices play an important role in obtaining safe food and preventing foodborne diseases. To achieve this goal, food handlers must receive appropriate training to be aware of their responsibilities. In this work, compliance with specific personal hygiene requirements by food handlers [...] Read more.
Good manufacturing practices play an important role in obtaining safe food and preventing foodborne diseases. To achieve this goal, food handlers must receive appropriate training to be aware of their responsibilities. In this work, compliance with specific personal hygiene requirements by food handlers was assessed in a cross-sectional study of traditional small retail establishments, namely butcher (n = 56) and fishmonger (n = 17) shops in Almada, Portugal. Food handlers (n = 140, of which 113 worked in butcher shops, and 27 worked in fishmonger shops) were interviewed for data collection, and retail establishments were audited considering specific hygiene requisites. In fishmonger shops, most food handlers are women (89%), aged 18 to 45 years (70%), with a high school degree, having worked for less than 5 years in this activity, while in butcher shops most food handlers are men (90%) over 45 years old (58%), with a basic education level, and more than 26 years of experience. Most food handlers (>95%) attended recent food safety and hygiene training courses and were able to recognize that hand sanitizers cannot replace a proper hand wash, and to identify Staphylococcus aureus transmission routes to food. However, approximately 23% of retail establishments failed to provide hot water in the handwashing basin and exhibited improper placement of handwashing instructions. Furthermore, these establishments did not implement corrective actions following non-conforming microbiological results of hand hygiene monitoring. These findings reinforce the need for consistent management commitment, and for providing food handlers with regular training, which is crucial for maintaining a strong food safety and hygiene culture in these traditional small retail establishments. Full article
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10 pages, 1250 KiB  
Article
Hygienic Practices and Level of Contamination in Toothbrushes at Mexican Homes in Guadalajara, Jalisco
by Luz Eduviges Garay-Martínez, Andrés Octavio Betancourt-Cortés, Alondra Lizeth Reyes-Castellanos, Sara Gabriela Ulloa-Pérez, Carlos Arnulfo Velázquez-Carriles, Beatriz Venegas-Ruiz and Jorge Manuel Silva-Jara
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 197-206; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020016 - 25 May 2024
Viewed by 886
Abstract
In the present study, a Google Forms survey open questionnaire was applied to identify variables in hygiene habits that influence the contamination of toothbrushes in Mexican homes. A total of 275 questionnaires were validated, and 18 samples were analyzed to determine microbiology indicator [...] Read more.
In the present study, a Google Forms survey open questionnaire was applied to identify variables in hygiene habits that influence the contamination of toothbrushes in Mexican homes. A total of 275 questionnaires were validated, and 18 samples were analyzed to determine microbiology indicator groups (Mesophilic Aerobic Bacteria [MAB], Coliform Organisms [CO], and Yeast and Molds [Y/M]) with dilution and plate casting methods. Results were compared with data obtained from surveys, which were encoded to construct conglomerates. Interestingly, a higher microbial count was found in toothbrushes stored in cases (4.9 × 109 CFU/mL for MAB, 4.43 × 109 CFU/mL for CO, and 4.38 × 109 CFU/mL for Y/M), while the use and disposal of toothbrushes following recommendations of life expectancy limited bacterial growth (<10 CFU/mL for CO and Y/M), reducing the possible growth of pathogens such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Pseudomonas, among others. Finally, most people do not have the habit of disinfecting their toothbrushes periodically. Further, the survey revealed that disinfection techniques applied by a limited group (14% of the respondents) are improvised and are not standardized with the objective of disinfection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oral and Dental Hygiene)
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8 pages, 7792 KiB  
Article
Visualization of Effectiveness: The Use of a Set of Colored Cleaning Wipes for Visible Disinfection of Ultrasound Probes
by Christian Kühnel and Falk Gühne
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 189-196; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020015 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 649
Abstract
The German health authorities’ guidelines for medical devices in 2012 highlighted the importance of cleaning ultrasound probes, emphasizing their validation and reliability. In addition to automated and validated options, alternative manual methods such as wipe disinfection have gained traction due to their independence [...] Read more.
The German health authorities’ guidelines for medical devices in 2012 highlighted the importance of cleaning ultrasound probes, emphasizing their validation and reliability. In addition to automated and validated options, alternative manual methods such as wipe disinfection have gained traction due to their independence from additional hardware. The study examines the effectiveness of a manual cleaning process using wipes, addressing concerns raised by the Robert Koch Institute regarding the lack of validation for wipe disinfection of semi-critical devices. The EQUINOS colored wipe disinfection kit identified wetting gaps in all cleanings across four probes tested. The results indicate significant challenges in ensuring complete surface wetting, particularly in complex device parts such as clip-on areas and fixtures for additional biopsy attachments, suggesting that manual methods alone may not adequately mitigate the risk of infection transmission (p value < 0.0001). The study concludes that while manual disinfection methods are a commonly used alternative to automated reprocessing, there is a critical need for enhanced training and potentially the development of more effective manual disinfection techniques or colored wipes to ensure patient safety and compliance with healthcare hygiene standards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hygiene in Healthcare Facilities)
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11 pages, 2414 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Nudge Tools to Promote Hand Disinfection among Healthcare Professionals and Visitors in Health Institution: The Slovenian Pilot Study
by Neža Podvratnik, Andrej Ovca and Mojca Jevšnik
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 178-188; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020014 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are considered to be one of the biggest health problems as they continue to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. They cannot be completely prevented, but their incidence can be significantly limited. Preventive action is the most [...] Read more.
Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are considered to be one of the biggest health problems as they continue to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. They cannot be completely prevented, but their incidence can be significantly limited. Preventive action is the most important measure in this case. Due to the frequent interaction between healthcare professionals and patients, the crucial importance of hand hygiene is therefore emphasised. Adherence to good disinfection and hand washing practices remains around 40%, which can be improved by using a variety of nudge tools to promote desired hygienic behaviour. We conducted an open observation of employees and visitors with participation. The aim of this study was to determine the actual status of hand disinfection in a selected healthcare facility amongst doctors, registered nurses, medical technicians, cleaners, and visitors or parents of children; then, we selected and introduced three nudge tools of desired hygiene behaviour and analysed their effectiveness; finally, we provided suggestions for the use of nudge tools of desired hygiene behaviour with the aim of influencing doctors, registered nurses, medical technicians, cleaners, and visitors or parents of children so that they disinfect their hands properly. The actual state of hand disinfection was determined on the basis of observation without introducing any changes; then, we separately introduced three nudge tools, posters with an inscription and picture, the scent of citrus, and flashing lights. The obtained results were analysed with the help of the SpeedyAudit Lite application, and the effectiveness of each nudge tool and the adequacy of hand disinfection by categories of people were compared. In general, posters with a picture and an inscription contributed the most to more consistent disinfection of employees’ hands, while the scent of citrus and flashing lights contributed slightly less. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Hygiene in Healthcare Facilities)
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14 pages, 1496 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Ergonomic Performance of a Novel Periodontal Curette with Adaptive Handle Design
by Cherie Wink, Kairong Lin, Benjamin E. Dolan, Kathryn Osann, Ali A. Habib and Petra Wilder-Smith
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 164-177; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020013 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 903
Abstract
(1) Background: Periodontal instrumentation with dental curettes is associated with discomfort, fatigue, and musculoskeletal diseases. The goal of this study was to compare comfort, fatigue, and muscle work using three different curettes. (2) Methods: Eight hygienists each scaled three typodonts using the three [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Periodontal instrumentation with dental curettes is associated with discomfort, fatigue, and musculoskeletal diseases. The goal of this study was to compare comfort, fatigue, and muscle work using three different curettes. (2) Methods: Eight hygienists each scaled three typodonts using the three different curettes. Curette A was a prototype with a novel adaptive design, Curette B had a conventional stainless-steel design, and Curette C featured a conventional silicon-covered handle. Time-based work in four muscles, comfort, fatigue, tactile feedback, grip and blade position, and pinch and grasp strength were recorded. Statistical analysis was performed using a General Linear Model (GLIM) and Tukey’s post hoc test. The level of significance was set at p < 0.05. (3) Results: Comfort, correct grasp, fingertip placement, and blade-to-tooth adaptation were significantly better with Curette A (p < 0.05). While pinch and grasp strength were significantly reduced post-instrumentation for Curettes B and C (p < 0.05), they remained unchanged for Curette A. Curette A required significantly less total muscle work and work in individual muscles, resulting in significantly less post-instrumentation fatigue than for Curettes B and C, but similar levels of tactile feedback (p < 0.05). (4) Conclusions: The ergonomic performance of a prototype adaptive periodontal curette was significantly better than that of two conventional instruments with rigid handle designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Oral and Dental Hygiene)
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7 pages, 524 KiB  
Brief Report
Ralstonia insidiosa Bacteremia in Patients with Solid Cancer Treated by Means of a Central Venous Catheter
by Lorenzo Ruggieri, Anna Lisa Ridolfo, Sara Giordana Rimoldi, Maria Silvia Cona, Davide Dalu, Pietro Olivieri, Giuliano Rizzardini, Spinello Antinori, Anna Gambaro, Sabrina Ferrario, Cinzia Fasola, Maria Antista, Carmen Giusy Rea and Nicla La Verde
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 157-163; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020012 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 901
Abstract
Ralstonia spp. are low-virulent environmental Gram-negative bacteria that can cause serious nosocomial infections in immunocompromised patients. We report the characteristics of a cluster of R. insidiosa bacteremia cases occurring in our oncology day ward in Milan, Italy, between January and March 2022. A [...] Read more.
Ralstonia spp. are low-virulent environmental Gram-negative bacteria that can cause serious nosocomial infections in immunocompromised patients. We report the characteristics of a cluster of R. insidiosa bacteremia cases occurring in our oncology day ward in Milan, Italy, between January and March 2022. A case was defined as a cancer patient attending our day ward and whose blood culture (performed because of bacteremia symptoms) led to the isolation of Ralstonia insidiosa. An epidemiological investigation was conducted in order to seek the possible source of infection. Seven adult patients received curative or palliative treatment via infusion through a Port-a-Cath (PAC). All developed symptoms within 24 h of the infusion (three during the infusion itself). Ralstonia insidiosa was isolated in the blood drawn from the PAC in all patients. All of the isolates were susceptible to carbapenems, fluoroquinolones, and piperacillin/tazobactam but resistant to aminoglycosides and cephalosporins. Systemic and/or lock antibiotic therapy led to stable symptom resolution and negative blood cultures in five patients, whereas bacteremia recurred in two patients. An epidemiological investigation suggested that extrinsic contamination of antiseptic solutions was the possible cause of the R. insidiosa infections. Although R. insidiosa is not considered a virulent pathogen, clinicians, microbiologists, and infection control teams should be aware about its potential to cause outbreaks of nosocomial bloodstream infections, especially in immunocompromised patients bearing central venous catheters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control)
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11 pages, 719 KiB  
Article
Formation/Removal of Biofilms on/from Coupons of Selected Food-Grade Elastomeric Polymers vs. Plexiglass Used for the Fruit-Catching Plates of OTR Blueberry Machine Harvesters
by Peien Wang, Minji Hur, Lisa Wasko DeVetter, Fumiomi Takeda and Jinru Chen
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 146-156; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020011 - 11 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1616
Abstract
To reduce the bruising potential of machine-harvested fresh blueberries, manufacturers of over-the-row (OTR) machine harvesters are replacing the hard, plexiglass fruit-catching plates with soft, elastomeric polymers. This study assessed whether selected soft, food-grade elastomeric polymers, with the potential to be used in OTR [...] Read more.
To reduce the bruising potential of machine-harvested fresh blueberries, manufacturers of over-the-row (OTR) machine harvesters are replacing the hard, plexiglass fruit-catching plates with soft, elastomeric polymers. This study assessed whether selected soft, food-grade elastomeric polymers, with the potential to be used in OTR harvesters, have a greater likelihood to encourage more microbial buildups, making cleaning/sanitation a greater challenge. Coupons of plexiglass, silicone, neoprene, and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) were exposed to fecal coliforms from various sources for biofilm development. The coupons with developed biofilms were treated with sodium hypochlorite, peracetic acid, isopropyl alcohol-based quaternary ammonium compounds (Alpet D2), or commercial dish soap. Biofilms and their residuals after the sanitizer treatments were quantified. The fecal coliforms isolated from the surface of OTR harvesters developed significantly (p ≤ 0.05) more biofilms than those from other sources. EPDM coupons had significantly more, while neoprene and silicone coupons had insignificantly different (p > 0.05) amounts of biofilms from plexiglass coupons. After sanitizer treatments, EPDM coupons had significantly more, while neoprene and certain silicon coupons had significantly fewer residues than plexiglass coupons. Study suggests that compared to plexiglass, neoprene and silicon did not support more microbial buildups or retain more biofilms after sanitizing treatments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Hygiene and Safety)
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11 pages, 270 KiB  
Article
Antimicrobial Properties of Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), Sage (Salvia officinalis L.), Lavender (Lavandula officinalis L.), Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G. Don), and Savory (Satureja montana L.) and Their Application in Hard Cheese Production
by Nevijo Zdolec, Marijana Franičević, Lucija Klanac, Ivana Kavain, Josip Batinić, Manuela Zadravec, Jelka Pleadin, Darko Čobanov and Marta Kiš
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 135-145; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020010 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1295
Abstract
The aim of the study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of the extracted plants basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), sage (Salvia officinalis L.), lavender (Lavandula officinalis L.), immortelle (Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G. Don), savory (Satureja montana L.), and [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of the extracted plants basil (Ocimum basilicum L.), sage (Salvia officinalis L.), lavender (Lavandula officinalis L.), immortelle (Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G. Don), savory (Satureja montana L.), and rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus Spenn.) against foodborne and clinical pathogens. Dried plants were used in the production of Dalmatian cow’s milk hard cheese at concentrations of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2% to evaluate the microbiological safety and sensory properties of novel cheeses. The broadest antimicrobial activity was found in rosemary and sage, inhibiting ten indicator pathogens, and the strongest antimicrobial activity was found in immortelle and sage, which showed the widest zones of inhibition. The most sensitive indicators were Staphylococcus species and Yersinia enterocolitica. The supplemented cheeses met the official microbiological criteria and were mycotoxin negative. The surface mycobiota of control and experimental cheeses consisted mainly of Penicillium sollitum, based on the sequence analysis of the beta-tubulin and calmodulin genes. The antifungal effect of the added plants was clearly demonstrated in cheeses with added basil and sage (p < 0.05). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Hygiene and Safety)
13 pages, 1616 KiB  
Article
Prevalence of Contagious Mastitis Pathogens in Bulk Tank Milk from Dairy Farms in Lower Saxony, Germany
by Jan Kortstegge and Volker Krömker
Hygiene 2024, 4(2), 122-134; https://doi.org/10.3390/hygiene4020009 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1324
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Streptococcus (Sc.) agalactiae, Prototheca spp., Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, and especially methicillin-resistant S. aureus as well as Myco-plasmopsis (M.) spp. and M. bovis in bulk [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Streptococcus (Sc.) agalactiae, Prototheca spp., Staphylococcus (S.) aureus, and especially methicillin-resistant S. aureus as well as Myco-plasmopsis (M.) spp. and M. bovis in bulk tank milk (BTM) on dairy farms in Lower Saxony, Germany. BTM samples were collected in January 2023 from 208 selected dairy farms. The samples were quantitatively culturally analyzed for S. aureus and Prototheca spp. Presumptive S. aureus colonies were further confirmed by MALDI-TOF. Presumptive Prototheca spp. colonies were confirmed by light microscopy. Sc. agalactiae and Mycoplasmopsis spp. were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR). Sc. agalactiae was detected in two herds (1% (Confidence Interval 95% (CI) 0.3–3.4)). S. aureus was confirmed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) in 38 herds (18.3% (CI 13.6–24.1)), assuming a threshold of >10 cfu/mL milk. A total of 154 isolates identified as S. aureus by MALDI-TOF were transferred to agar with added oxacillin for resistance testing, of which 19 isolates (12.3% (CI 8–18.5)) showed growth. The 19 isolates came from eight different farms (3.8% (2–7.4)). Prototheca spp. were identified in 13 herds (6.3% (CI 3.7–10.4)). Mycoplasmopsis spp. were detected by PCR in 18 herds (8.7% (CI 5.5–13.3)). Of these, M. bovis was present in three herds (1.4% (0.5–4.2)). The herd prevalence of Sc. agalactiae in BTM appears to be at low levels in the sampled area. The prevalence of Mycoplasmopsis spp. in the herds was higher than expected compared to previous studies. It is interesting to note that the percentage of M. bovis in the total Mycoplasmopsis spp. was only 16.7%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary, Livestock, and Biosafety)
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