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Ineffectiveness of Handwashing With Lotion Soap to Remove Nosocomial Bacterial Pathogens Persisting on Fingertips: A Major Link in Their Intrahospital Spread

  • Edward J. Bottone (a1), Mark Cheng (a1) and Saul Hymes (a1)


The effectiveness of five 30-second handwashes with a non-antiseptic lotion soap to remove nosocomial pathogens (108 CFU) applied to fingertips was studied. CFU for all species dropped rapidly after the first handwash; persistence (10 to 15 CFU) was maintained thereafter. Wiping hands with an antiseptic (70% isopropyl or 10% povidone-iodine) sponge removed persisters.


Corresponding author

Division of Infectious Diseases, Box 1090, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY 10029


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