Monday, May 29, 2017

The Hospital Microbiome- Dynamic and Vexing

I am spending this fine Memorial Day in the hospital doing consults and blogging, particularly as I await the return of my patient from the CT scanner.

Credit to this group for a very sophisticated study on the dynamic and changing hospital microbiome, published in Science Translational Medicine. By way of thousands of bacterial cultures and metagenomic analyses, the evolving microbial ecology of a newly opened hospital was characterized.  The bacteria in patient rooms, particularly in high touch areas, resembled the skin microbiome of the patient and changed over time.The inanimate environment is dynamic and hospital rooms reflect the flora of the occupant. 

Our understanding of the inanimate environment is growing yet significant knowledge gaps continue to vex us.         
What is the true proportionate impact of the inanimate environment on hospital acquired infections and what is the most effective and practical (i.e.real world- otherwise it is essentially useless) way to measure and decrease bioburden for risk mitigation? We are still searching.

Back to the consults.


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