Infection control in a resource constrained radiology department: a case study of a Zimbabwean hospital

George Rugare Chingarande, Lavendah Chidakwa


The purpose of this study was to investigate whether radiology equipment could be a reservoir for microorganisms which aid the spread of infection to patients. Swab samples were collected from selected X-ray equipment and accessories and sent to the microbiology laboratory for culturing and identification using standard laboratory procedure.

Bacteria were isolated in 38 swabs representing 42% of all the swab samples. Staphylococcus aureus, lactose fermenting coliforms, staphylococcus saprophyticus, pseudomonas aeruginosa and coagulase-negative staphylococcus were the bacteria isolated from the swab samples.Lactose fermenting coliforms were isolated the most , namely 17 times (45%); pseudomonas aeruginosa were only isolated once. X-ray cassettes recorded the highest number of times that bacteria were isolated (55%) with coliform being isolated most often (52%).

The research concluded that the cleaning criterion that was being employed was inadequate resulting in the presence of microorganisms on imaging equipment and accessories. The study therefore recommended that the radiology staff should adhere more to infection control policies to curb the growth of microorganisms.


bacteria; fomites; vectors; cassettes; nosocomial

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The South African Radiographer | ISSN 0258 0241

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