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Testing Reprocessed Duodenoscopes for Bacteria

Surveillance for Bacterial Contamination of Duodenoscopes after Reprocessing

EMSL provides microbiological testing services for reprocessed duodenoscopes at the Cinnaminson, NJ laboratory.

Outbreaks of bacterial infection associated with endoscopes are often attributed to improperly reprocessed
endoscopes. In the past few years, there have been multiple reports of patient exposure to multi-drug
resistant organisms, such as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), from contaminated

The complex design of the duodenoscope results in difficult to access parts and hard-to-clean areas. Debris
from previous patients may not be completely removed during cleaning, which allows for organisms to
survive the disinfection process. As demonstrated by recent outbreaks, multi-drug resistant organisms can
be transmitted from patient-to-patient by the contaminated duodenoscopes.

The CDC has provided an interim guidance for epidemiological and surveillance studies to find the root
cause. Rather than focus attention solely on the detection of CRE, the CDC recommends that labs look for
the presence of large numbers of bacteria and for "high-concern" organisms. The high-concern organisms
are not normal skin or environmental flora and represent potential pathogens, such as Pseudomonas, E. coli,
and Klebsiella spp.

Sampling Duodenoscopes for Bacteria Testing at EMSL

This method is used in the field to sample ‘ready-to-use’, fully reprocessed duodenoscopes (after drying) for
bacteria specifically located on the distal end. In addition, it’s also used for collecting samples from the
instrument channel (via the instrument port to the distal end). Ideally, two personnel familiar with the
instrument and who are capable of aseptic technique should perform this protocol. One will hold the
duodenoscope (facilitator) while the other person samples (sampler) accordingly. It is important to sample
gently, while thoroughly, in order for optimal sampling and maintaining the integrity of the duodenoscope.

In the area where the duodenoscope(s) will be sampled:

1. Contact John Passero at EMSL for FREE Sampling Swabs*.  He may be reached at or 1-800-220-3675 Ext. 3604.

2. Duodenoscopes should be sampled on a clean surface away from traffic, obvious airflow (e.g. vents)
and potential contamination with water. A sectioned-off area of a reprocessing room or a separate
room can be designated for duodenoscope sampling.

3. Clean and disinfect the counter where sampling of the duodenoscope(s) will be performed with an
EPA-approved disinfectant for hard, non-porous surfaces observing manufacturer’s instructions on
contact time and disinfection procedure.

4. Sampler and Facilitator: Don sterile gowns, face masks/shields, hair coverings and gloves.

5. Prepare the sampling materials by laying out the sterile diaper pad; placing respectively labeled
sampling containers, pre-moistening PBST tubes in a rack, as well as other needed items (e.g. 60-cc

6. Gather sterile brushes for sampling of the duodenoscopes.

7. Follow the CDC’s interim sampling method for the duodenoscope – distal end and instrument

8. Fill out a Sample Submital Form available at

9. Ship samples to: EMSL Analytical, Inc., 200 Route 130 North, Cinnaminson, NJ  08077

*EMSL recommends using a wetted swab for bacteria recovery on hard surfaces when sampling. Click here
to view the 1ML Butterfield Swabs in our product catalog. Each swab comes in an easy-to-use container for
sampling, transport and storage.

1 ML Butterfields Swab
Product ID: 8708935
Price: Free for EMSL Clients
Contact: John Passero, 1-800-220-3675 Ext. 3604


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Vital Signs: Estimated Effects of a Coordinated Approach for Action to Reduce Antibiotic-Resistant Infections in Health
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Scott RD. The direct medical costs of healthcare-associated infections in US hospitals and the benefits of prevention.
Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2009.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: CDC for Healthcare Providers
Health care infections, hepatitis, antimicrobial resistance, health care worker protection. Slide presentations.
Fact sheets.

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hospitals. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 1996;17:53–80

Chapter 41Preventing Health Care–Associated Infections
Amy S. Collins, B.S., B.S.N., M.P.H., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

Duodenoscope Testing Services Overview

Full list of services provided for Duodenoscope Testing ( click for details )
Laboratories providing Duodenoscope Testing ( click for details )
Atlanta, GA (LAB 07) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-1Baton Rouge, LA (LAB 25) - NVLAP Lab Code 200375-0Beltsville, MD (LAB 19) - NVLAP Lab Code 200293-0Boston, MA (LAB 13) - NVLAP Lab Code 101147-0Buffalo, NY (LAB 14) - NVLAP Lab Code 200056-0Carle Place, NY (LAB 06) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-10Charlotte, NC (LAB 41) - NVLAP Lab Code 200841-0Chicago, IL (LAB 26) - NVLAP Lab Code 200399-0Cinnaminson, NJ (LAB List in Description) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-0Dallas, TX (LAB 11) - NVLAP Lab Code 600111-0Denver, CO (LAB 22) - NVLAP Lab Code 200828-0EMSL Canada - Calgary, AB (LAB 65) - NVLAP Lab Code 500100-0EMSL Canada - Edmonton, AB (LAB 50) - NVLAP Lab Code 600321-0EMSL Canada - Markham, ON (LAB 66) - NVLAP Lab Code 600317-0EMSL Canada - Montreal, QC (LAB 68) - NVLAP Lab Code 201052-0EMSL Canada - Ottawa, ON (LAB 67) - NVLAP Lab Code 201040-0EMSL Canada - Toronto, ON (LAB 55) - NVLAP Lab Code 200877-0EMSL Canada - Vancouver, BC (LAB 69) - NVLAP Lab Code 201068-0Fort Lauderdale, FL (LAB 56) - NVLAP Lab Code 500085-0Houston, TX (LAB 15) - NVLAP Lab Code 102106-0Huntington Beach, CA (LAB 33) - NVLAP Lab Code 101384-0Indianapolis, IN (LAB 16) - NVLAP Lab Code 200188-0Kernersville, NC (LAB 02) - NVLAP Lab Code 102104-0Las Vegas, NV (LAB 31) - NVLAP Lab Code 600140-0Long Island City, NY (LAB 03) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-9Meriden, CT (LAB 24) - NVLAP Lab Code 200700-0Miami, FL (LAB 17) - NVLAP Lab Code 200204-0Minneapolis, MN (LAB 35) - NVLAP Lab Code 200019-0Ontario, California (San Bernadino County / Inland Empire) (LAB 71) - NVLAP Lab Code 600239-0Orlando, FL (LAB 34) - NVLAP Lab Code 101151-0Phoenix, AZ (LAB 12) - NVLAP Lab Code 200811-0Piscataway, NJ (LAB 05) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-2Plymouth Meeting, PA (LAB 18) - NVLAP Lab Code 200699-0Raleigh, NC (LAB 29) - NVLAP Lab Code 200671-0Rochester, NY (LAB 53) - NVLAP Lab Code 600183-0San Diego, CA (LAB 43) - NVLAP Lab Code 200855-0San Leandro, CA (LAB 09) - NVLAP Lab Code 101048-3Santa Clara, CA (LAB 47) - NVLAP Lab Code 600318-0Seattle, WA (LAB 51) - NVLAP Lab Code 200613-0South Pasadena, CA (LAB 32) - NVLAP Lab Code 200232-0South Portland, ME (LAB 62) - NVLAP Lab Code 500094-0St. Louis, MO (LAB 39) - NVLAP Lab Code 200742-0Syracuse, NY (LAB 73) - NVLAP Lab Code 600283-0Tampa, FL (LAB 93) - NVLAP Lab Code 600215-0
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