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Robert Koch Institute has included probiotic surface cleaning in its new official recommendations for hospital hygiene and infection control.

The Robert Koch Institute, internationally regarded as a hospital hygiene authority and the German government’s central institution for the identification, surveillance, and prevention of infectious diseases, has recently updated its hygiene requirements for surface cleaning.

They now include probiotics as a sustainable and proven way to contribute to improved hospital hygiene by creating more beneficial surface microbiology in hospitals and other health facilities. The previous guidelines date back to 2004. Last November’s update represents a major paradigm change in the approach to hospital hygiene, which was solely focused on disinfection until now.

The newly released recommendation by the Robert Koch Institute Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention (available in German only) states in its 6.3 section about probiotic cleaning that the use of probiotics on surfaces in medical facilities is an interesting approach because probiotic bacteria form a long-term stable microbiome, while the success of disinfection only lasts for a short time. Furthermore, disinfectants are known to stimulate the development of cross-resistance to antibiotics, which is not the case with probiotic cleaning products.”

When microorganisms are removed from a surface by disinfection, the diversity of the surface microbiome is disturbed. Several studies cited in this recommendation conclude that probiotic surface cleaning “allowed a drop “from 4.8% to 2.3% in nosocomial infections (acquired in hospitals)” in comparison to chemical disinfection. In addition, antimicrobial resistance genes decreased by up to 99% during probiotic cleaning, and the use of antibiotics due to nosocomial infections went down by 60.3%, representing a decrease of 75.4% in related costs. Hospitals now have an effective, improved alternative to disinfection.

(link to the full article - Source: HeiQ, 17/01/2023)

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