Bacteria in washing machines: Danger of antibiotic-resistant microbes 2

Bacteria in washing machines: Danger of antibiotic-resistant microbes

Antibiotic resistant germs can be transmitted by washing machines. This is what scientists at the University of Bonn have learned. The rationale for investigating the researchers was multiple infections in a neonatal clinic. According to the results of the research, this development may also affect washing machines in private households. There are two groups of people in focus. The study was published in late September 2019 in the journal Applied Enviromental Microbiology.

Washing machines: Antibiotic-resistant germs lurk inside

The focus of the investigation is the bacterium "Klebsiella oxytoca". It was detected in the neonatal ward during routine hygiene checks. The affected hospital staff were initially confused, as even expensive hygienic interventions would not have, and the antibiotic would only have a limited impact on the effect. Therefore, experts are invited, German Press Agency.

However, no infection occurred at the hospital: the consequences of the bacterial infection could be respiratory infections or gastrointestinal problems. In the worst case, deadly sepsis can threaten. The living condition is caused by a chain reaction to tissue and organ damage. Sepsis is the world's leading cause of death from infection, according to information from Jena University Hospital.

The experts were in the fndig washer: Huge amounts of bacteria accumulated in the rubber and Splfach. According to study director Ricarde Schmithausen, these babies were brought using socks and knitted hats. How antibiotic-resistant germs have found their way into the dishwasher is a mystery to experts.

Wash at 30 degrees? Dangerous for children and senior citizens

To ward off bacteria, the laundry must be washed at 60 degrees Celsius. However, the current trend of saving energy and eco-washing at 30 degrees Celsius, which has been around for some time, can't hurt germs, Schmithausen said.

The background to this is that especially young and very old people are at risk of getting infected. In these groups, the immune system is either not fully grown or already weak. Because of this, it was important to wash the clothes for the children and the clothes for the elderly. Adding a chemical disinfectant can also be helpful, said the study director DPA.

People with a healthy immune system, on the other hand, are excluded from danger. However, the danger of antibiotic-resistant bacteria exists not only in clinics but also in private households. Bavarian radio collected risk mitigation tips:

  • Clean your washing machine twice a month: To do this, remove the washing machine drawer and clean it thoroughly with a brush. This can prevent microbes in the washing machine from depositing.
  • Washing at 60 degrees Celsius only destroys the bacteria to some extent. At 95 degrees Celsius, however, the germs are abgettet: therefore, rinsing with a very high temperature should be performed.
  • As the germs, as in the case mentioned, can settle in the door rubber, no aggressive liquids should be used to clean the inside of the washing machine. For example, vinegar essences should be avoided as otherwise they will damage the gums.

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