New Protocol Offers Hospitals Option to Detect Bacterial Contamination of Duodenoscopes (an endoscopic instrument, usually fiber optic, inserted via the mouth for the visual examination of the duodenum). Combating antibiotic-resistant infections and protecting patients are national priorities. Recent outbreaks of CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) related to a type of endoscope called a duodenoscope have occurred without identified lapses of infection control.
With input from healthcare facilities, professional partners and stakeholders has developed an interim protocol for facilities that want to test their duodenoscopes for contamination with bacteria, including CRE, after the cleaning and disinfection process.
These interim protocols provide a step-by-step approach for facilities wanting to check whether scopes could be a source of infection for patients. Included are suggestions for how scopes should be sampled, options for the frequency and types of sampling, how to test those samples in a lab, and how to interpret results. Sampling is not a substitute for correct cleaning and disinfection (“reprocessing”) of these scopes. The interim protocols are intended to supplement and not replace manufacturer- recommended reprocessing procedures.
CDC is working with partners, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, medical specialty societies, subject matter experts, and state and local health departments to further understand and address the possibility of bacteria transmission related to duodenoscopes. Until more is known, this interim protocol can provide hospitals with an additional tool in their continued efforts to protect patients from infections.
Learn more about the interim protocols from Michael Bell, MD, Deputy Director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog.
Read the protocols on CDC’s website.