Methods: Four samplings were done for a 12-month period. A total of 69 treatment tables were tested. Sampling was done directly to blood agar (5% sheep blood) plates. Data obtained from the clinic locations were analyzed using linear regression models.
Results: Identification of microbes by differential staining and biochemical analysis yielded a variety of gram-positive bacteria in all 4 surveys. The numbers of bacterial colonies decreased in the second survey after changes to disinfection protocols. The number of colonies continued to remain below baseline in the third and fourth surveys. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was found in the clinics in 3 of 4 surveys. Methicillin-resistant S aureus was not detected in the technique laboratories.
Conclusions: Various microbes were identified on the headpieces of adjusting tables in the college instructional technique laboratories and college clinics. Changing the disinfection protocols reduced the number of bacteria found in the second survey. In addition, the third and fourth surveys showed fewer bacterial colonies than baseline, suggesting that compliance with disinfection protocols continued over time.
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