Waterborne bacterial contamination in hospitals is an obvious danger to patients. It has the potential to introduce serious infections, especially amongst vulnerable patients such as the elderly, the immunocompromised, and premature infants.
During these unprecedented times, the ability to monitor water microbiology and maintain safety in hospitals and healthcare environments in accordance with HTM04 guidance is a challenge. Many hospitals rely upon external contractors to sample and test. It is vital that the water sample is handled, stored and tested in accordance with specified parameters. Any delay in results can increase the risk of disruption to facilities and any required remedial work.
Having the ability to test water samples on-site can reduce the time to get accurate results and help protect patients from healthcare-acquired infections caused by waterborne bacteria.
IDEXX, the world leaders in water microbiology, can provide a ‘table-top’ system that has been successfully adopted by a number of UK hospitals to conduct rapid on-site water testing for Pseudomonas aeruginosa on a presence/absence only basis, or for full quantification using the Pseudalert® test. During the current Covid-19 outbreak, this system can enhance operations by:
The IDEXX system is simple and easy to use and can be carried out on site at a hospital by trained staff. The set up for running the Pseudalert tests needs very little space and equipment, and a user can process a sample in less than a minute, while the interpretation of results is as simple as observing a colour change. IDEXX can provide full training and onsite support to hospitals, and the method is HTM04-01 compliant for the testing of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Pseudalert was launched by IDEXX to the UK healthcare sector in 2014, after a pan-European study demonstrated compliance with HTM 04-01 requirements. The test is based on a bacterial enzyme detection technology that signals the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa through the hydrolysis of a substrate in the Pseudalert reagent. Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells rapidly grow and reproduce using the rich supply of amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients present in the Pseudalert reagent. Actively growing strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa have an enzyme that metabolises the substrate in the reagent to produce blue fluorescence under ultraviolet light.
In September 2018, Pseudalert became accepted as a global ISO standard, published as ISO 16266-2:2018, Water Quality—Detection and Enumeration of Pseudomonas aeruginosa–Part 2: Most Probable Number Method and is also specified in the UK Standing Committee of Analysts (SCA) publication of “The Microbiology of Drinking Waters Part 8 – Methods for the isolation and enumeration of Aeromonas and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MoDW).”
The IDEXX On-Site Water Testing System equipment is pictured and includes from left to right: an IDEXX Sealer PLUS, the Quanti-Tray® (for enumeration), Pseudalert reagent, vessel rack and sample bottles, an IDEXX UV light with viewing box and an incubator.
Pseudalert is part of the wider test portfolio offered by IDEXX to rapidly detect microbiological contamination in water. These tests include Legiolert®, which accurately detects the presence of Legionella pneumophila in potable and non-potable water samples. Legionella pneumophila is the principle causative agent of Legionnaires’ disease, and Legiolert gives accurate results in just 7 days, allowing rapid detection and remediation. Like Pseudalert, Legiolert can be used effectively for on-site testing.
Please visit https://www.idexx.co.uk/en-gb/ to find out more.