Hospitals Must Act Against Pathogenic Bacteria, Says Mario Pinca
“It is time to act decisively against pathogenic bacteria. They can cause serious impacts on patient health in hospitals”, Says Copma
“In Brindisi, was everything possible done in terms of prevention?" said Mario Pinca, CEO of Copma, a leading Italian healthcare services provider. Pinca made his remarks following the decision of a public prosecutor to open an investigation into the death of 19 patients at the Perrino hospital in Brindisi last week.
“More than 25,000 citizens die every year in Europe because of growing resistance to existing antimicrobials; and between 8% and 12% of patients in EU hospitals suffer adverse events, almost half of which could be avoided.”
“The deaths may be linked to the Klebisella bacterium, in its multiresistent form. We will have to wait for the outcome of the investigation; but what we can say, is that it is possible to reduce the risk of transmission of hospital-associated infections (HAI), facing decisively the problem of hygiene in hospitals through a multidisciplinary action; with the innovative hygiene PCHS system, based on probiotic bacteria, it is possible to effectively counteract the potentially pathogenic bacteria”
Pinca referred to a recent study by La Fauci V et al., which was published in J Microb Biochem Technol 2015, last in a series of important international scientific publications. The study titled ‘An Innovative Approach to Hospital Sanitization Using Probiotics: In Vitro and Field Trials’ assessed how hospital infections continue to be a huge healthcare problem worldwide to which no facility, public or private, is immune.
“Tackling this global challenge requires local and European action. Traditional hygiene methods are not sufficiently effective,” said Pinca. What the La Fauci study demonstrates is that: “Environmental sanitization is an essential and effective part of programmes to prevent and control hospital infections.”
La Fauci argues that: “Sanitization procedures in hospitals, combined with antibiotic prophylaxis for patients, are designed to reduce and prevent the proliferation of microorganisms. Nevertheless, nosocomial infections continue to be a problem, even in hospitals where meticulous sanitization procedures are in place.”
“The importance of inanimate surfaces as sources of nosocomial pathogens has long been recognized&hellip but the most common environmental sanitization methods involve the use of chemical disinfectants&hellip [but] these are not without disadvantages: 1) the limited effectiveness of biocides over time (normally 20-30 minutes after application, after which microorganisms multiply exponentially); 2) the ability of microorganisms to mutate thereby annihilating the biocidal effects; 3) increased pollution of the natural environment arising from the massive use of chemicals that may accumulate and persist over time.”
“The modern ‘first line of defence’ should be the PCHS system,” said Alberto Rodolfi, President of Copma. “What we know from extensive peer reviewed research and from a consolidated operating experience, is that the PCHS system significantly improves the level of hygiene in hospitals and reduces the presence of pathogens.”
“La Fauci’s research points to the effectiveness of the PCHS system and of the ‘Probiotic bacteria’,” said Rodolfi. “Their research enhances our understanding of how spores of Bacillus spp work effectively. Probiotic bacteria are considered to be innocuous microorganisms, but importantly, unlike disinfectants, they do not act as biocides. Meaning, that the probiotic bacteria can colonize surfaces to which they are applied following the PCHS protocol, effectively limiting the proliferation and survival of other types of bacteria, including germs, by a process of ‘competitive exclusion’.”
La Fauci’s study reports that: “Probiotics are ecological, easy to use and biodegradable. They render the environment hygienically stable and are able to survive on and colonize non biological surfaces, combatting the proliferation of other bacteria. In this study&hellip conducted through the Probiotic Cleaning and Hygiene System (PCHS) at the laboratory of the Cardiological Operational Unit for the Hospital Hygiene at the University Hospital of Messina in vitro and field&hellip they were also found to perform well on surfaces in the hospital environment that are subject to regular recontamination&hellip Probiotics are therefore effective innovative products for sanitizing the hospital environment and constitute a valid “green” alternative to the chemical disinfectants used up to now.”
“What this means,” said Rodolfi, “is that European healthcare can be revolutionised with a simple change of hygiene policy. The terrible scale of death in Brindisi’s Perrino hospital, if proven to be caused by hospital hygiene, will simply be the tip of the iceberg. It’s time Europe’s governments act to stop antimicrobial resistance and to make our hospitals safe and environmentally healthy centres for care, not contagion.”