Disinfection of Burkholderia cepacia complex from non-touch taps in a neonatal nursery

Despina Kotsanas, Judith Brett, Tim J Kidd, Rhonda L Stuart, Tony M Korman, Timothy Kidd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) comprises nine closely related species or genomovars. It is an important causative agent of opportunistic infections and waterborne nosocomial infections. B. cepacia (formerly genomovar I) was identified from the blood culture of a baby in our neonatal unit (NU) in March 2005. B. cepacia was isolated four times from clinical specimens since the introduction of non-touch taps in the NU from 2000 to 2005 and only once from 1994 to 2000. Environmental samples were collected from the NU, including tap water from non-touch taps. Clinical and environmental isolates of Bcc were characterized using molecular identification and strain typing. A literature review was undertaken to delineate a method for eradication of Bcc. Several variations for hot water eradication of the organism from the taps were attempted. Genotyping and molecular analysis revealed that tap water isolates were B. cenocepacia which was a different species from the B. cepacia isolated from blood cultures of the neonate. However, B. cenocepacia has been known to cause nosocomial outbreaks and it was eventually eradicated from the NU by using repeated thermal shock (hot water at 65 degrees C for 10 min), changing taps and decolonizing sinks with hypochlorite. Molecular typing is useful in assisting the investigation of Bcc nosocomial infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-9
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Perinatal Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Bacteremia
  • Burkholderia Infections
  • Burkholderia cepacia complex
  • Cross Infection
  • Disinfection
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Nurseries
  • Sanitary Engineering


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