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Energy-efficient washing machines can accommodate dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria because they don't get hot enough to destroy them, a new study found

Energy-efficient washing machine in a German hospital acted as a & # 39; reservoir for multi-resistant pathogens & # 39; and gave & # 39; pneumonia-like bacteria & # 39; to different babies in intensive care

  • The washing machine in question was used to wash baby & socks and small hats
  • However, researchers discovered that it promoted bacteria in trapped water
  • Low temperature washing is not hot enough to kill all microorganisms
  • None of the babies became infected, but their clothing was contaminated
  • Experts ask to redesign environmentally friendly machines to make them safer
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Energy-efficient washing machines can house dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria because they don't get hot enough to destroy them, a new study found.

Researchers discovered that a washing machine that was used on baby's clothing in intensive care in Germany contained pneumonia-like bacteria in trapped water.

It is also thought that the final rinse – where unheated water is used – could also have helped to cultivate bacterial contamination.

The increase in the popularity of energy-saving, low-temperature washes – which are less capable of destroying microorganisms – can be dangerous, they warned.

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To address this, the team calls for redesigning environmentally-friendly machines to make them safer at their lower temperatures.

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Energy-efficient washing machines can accommodate dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria because they don't get hot enough to destroy them, a new study found

Energy-efficient washing machines can accommodate dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria because they don't get hot enough to destroy them, a new study found

& # 39; The water temperature used in household washing machines has fallen to save energy well below 60 ° C (140 ° F), & # 39; said lead researcher Dr. Schmithausen of the German University of Boon.

This, she explains, & # 39; makes them less deadly for pathogens & # 39 ;.

& # 39; Resistance genes, as well as various microorganisms, may persist in household washing machines at those reduced temperatures. & # 39;

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Older people who do their laundry at home run a special risk because their clothing is often contaminated by infectious bacteria due to wounds and other ailments.

"This is a growing challenge for hygienists, as the number of people receiving nursing care from family members is constantly increasing," said Martin Exner, also from the University of Bonn.

& # 39; The laundry must be washed at higher temperatures or with efficient disinfectants to prevent the transmission of dangerous pathogens if the elderly need nursing with open wounds or bladder catheters. & # 39;

However, younger people with infections also run the same risk if they do their laundry at home in an energy-saving, low-temperature wash.

Researchers discovered that a washing machine that was used on baby's clothing in intensive care in Germany contained pneumonia-like bacteria in trapped water

Researchers discovered that a washing machine that was used on baby's clothing in intensive care in Germany contained pneumonia-like bacteria in trapped water

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Researchers discovered that a washing machine that was used on baby's clothing in intensive care in Germany contained pneumonia-like bacteria in trapped water

Researchers reported the risks of energy-saving household washing machines after finding such a machine used in a German hospital that contained microscopic pathogens called Klebsiella oxytoca.

The machine was used in a neonatal intensive care unit to wash baby clothes that keep them warm in incubators – such as socks and knitted hats – but contaminated them during the process.

The babies were in intensive care after a premature birth or unrelated infection.

After discovering the pathogen of baby clothes during a standard investigation, the researchers excluded both incubators and health workers as the source of the bacteria before identifying the infected machine.

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It is not known how the detected pathogens – lurking in water trapped in the rubber jacket of the machine – ended up in the washing machine initially.

"This is a very unusual case for a hospital in the sense that it was a household washing machine," Dr. said. Schmithausen.

& # 39; Hospitals normally use special washing machines and washing processes that wash at high temperatures and with disinfectants, or they use designated external laundries. & # 39;

In addition, the researchers noted that the final rinsing process, which uses unheated and detergent-free water, could also spread hostile bacteria.

& # 39; The study implies that changes to the design and processing of the washing machine are necessary to prevent the accumulation of residual water where microbial growth can occur and to contaminate clothing, & # 39; said Dr. Schmithausen.

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Although the pathogens can withstand different antibiotics, in this case they have not harmed the baby's.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?

Antibiotics have been dispensed unnecessarily by general practitioners and hospital staff for decades, so that once harmless bacteria are supplied with super poison.

The World Health Organization has warned earlier if nothing is done, the world was moving towards a & # 39; post-antibiotic & # 39; era.

It claimed that common infections, such as chlamydia, will become murderers without immediate answers to the growing crisis.

Bacteria can become resistant to medicines when people take the wrong doses of antibiotics, or they are distributed unnecessarily.

Chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies claimed in 2016 that the threat of antibiotic resistance is just as serious as terrorism.

Figures estimate that superugs will kill ten million people every year by 2050, with patients succumbing to once harmless insects.

About 700,000 people die every year as a result of drug-resistant infections, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria around the world.

There have been repeated concerns that drugs will be returned to the & # 39; dark ages & # 39; if antibiotics will no longer be effective in the coming years.

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In addition to the fact that existing drugs are becoming less effective, only one or two new antibiotics have been developed in the last 30 years.

In September, the World Health Organization warned that antibiotics were running out & # 39; because in a report a & # 39; serious defect & # 39; new drugs in the development pipeline.

Without antibiotics, caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements, it would also be incredibly risky & # 39; was said at the time.

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