Antibiotic-resistant pathogens can be spread via washing machines. This has been proven by hygienists at the University of Bonn for a children’s hospital in which a Klebsiella oxytoca type was repeatedly transmitted to newborns. Fortunately, no dangerous infection occurred. The source was a conventional washing machine used to launder the clothes of the newborns. This case draws attention, especially as antibiotic-resistant bacteria could also be transmitted via the washing machine in households with people who need nursing care. A further study will examine this distribution channel in more detail. The results are now published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Reference: “The washing machine as a reservoir for transmission of extended spectrum beta-lactamase (CTX-M-15)-producing Klebsiella oxytoca ST201 in newborns” by Ricarda M. Schmithausen, Esther Sib, Martin Exner, Sylvia Hack, Claudia Rösing, Patrick Ciorba, Gabriele Bierbaum, Mykhailo Savin, Sally F. Bloomfield, Martin Kaase, Anja Jacobshagen, Stefanie Gemein, Jürgen Gebel, Steffen Engelhart and Daniel Exner, 27 September 2019, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.