Nine out of ten insects in English hospitals carry dangerous bacteria

Nine out of 10 insects in English hospitals carry dangerous bacteria: this is the conclusion reached by an Aston University study that once again emphasizes the importance of hygiene and attention to the propagation of pathogenic bacteria in hospitals.

Researchers have collected, using various methods including ultraviolet light traps and sticky traps, more than 20,000 specimens of insects, most of which are flies of various species, in seven English hospitals. Microbiological analysis then showed that 9/10 of these insects were vectors of bacteria that can be considered as potentially harmful. Among the latter we can find, for example, Escherichia coli, salmonella and staphylococcus aureus.

The hospital areas in which the insects were collected were also represented by those areas in which food is prepared or stored for patients, areas intended for visitors or staff as well as departments considered to be particularly “sensitive,” such as neonatal units and sectors dedicated to motherhood. More than 1/4 of the insects collected were domestic flies and midges, while another 14% were represented by rincoti (the latter included aphids).

The researchers isolated 86 bacterial strains, 41% of which were enterobacteriaceae (including Escherichia coli and salmonella). Other bacteria found by researchers were those belonging to the groups of bacilli and staphylococci. 53% of the analyzed strains were resistant to one or more antibiotics.

According to Federica Boiocchi, the main author of the study, the most interesting aspect of these results is represented by the “high percentage of bacteria resistant to drugs found in these samples.”