Can you catch bugs from dirty soap?

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Offline thedoc

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Can you catch bugs from dirty soap?
« on: 25/09/2012 05:30:02 »
Antony Ascione  asked the Naked Scientists:
Remember the podcast where you answered this question? Here's a fascinating (and terrifying) real-life example of it happening in Italy.

"Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a major infectious threat to immunocompromised patients. We recently reported a fatal epidemic of multidrug-resistant P. aeruginosa in an onchoematology unit, linked to massive contamination of a triclosan-based disinfectant. The aim of this study is to evaluate the antimicrobial activity of triclosan and chlorhexidine digluconate against the epidemic strain of P. aeruginosa, to confirm the hypothesis that the soap dispenser acted as a continuous source of the infection during the outbreak, and to explore the potential role of triclosan in increasing the level of resistance to selected antibiotics."

Source: BMC Research Notes 2012, 5:43 doi:10.1186/1756-0500-5-43

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 25/09/2012 05:30:02 by _system »


Offline cheryl j

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Re: Can you catch bugs from dirty soap?
« Reply #1 on: 29/09/2012 16:01:01 »
I can see the outside of the dispenser being contaminated, or maybe if there was a moist space between the dispenser and some type of plastic bag/cartridge used to refill the dispenser, but I can't see a bacteria surviving in pure soap or detergent. I would think the soap or detergent would be too destructive to the lipids in the cell wall of the bacteria.