New study says that hospital sinks are festering hotbeds of drug-resistant bacteria and infect hospital wards through tap water

A new study claims that hospital sinks are festering hotbeds of drug-resistant bacteria aka superbugs. Many reports have found multidrug-resistant bacteria living in hospital sink drainpipes, putting them in close proximity to vulnerable patients. But how the bacteria find their way out of the drains, and into patients has been unclear.

Now, a team from the University of Virginia has found out the clear path about their entry into the hospital sink drain pipes.

Also read: Scientists develop a pain-free method, Resin Infiltration to fill cavities without drilling and numbing



How the superbugs reach the hospital sink drain pipes:

Initially, the bacteria colonize the elbows of the drain pipes. The investigators showed that from there, the colonies grow slowly towards the sink strainers at the rate of roughly one inch per day.


Given the distance in typical hospital sinks of elbows below the sink bowls, it frequently takes a week for the colonies to reach the sink strainers.

From there, bacteria quickly get dabbled around the sink, and even onto the counters surrounding the sinks, where they can be picked up by the patients. 

In many parts of the world, hospitals are ill-equipped to cope with these superbugs, as in many cases there are few treatment options

The research is originally published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the Amerian Society for Microbiology.  

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