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Open Access Research article

Italian multicenter study on infection hazards during dental practice: Control of environmental microbial contamination in public dental surgeries

Paolo Castiglia1, Giorgio Liguori2, Maria Teresa Montagna3*, Christian Napoli3, Cesira Pasquarella4, Margherita Bergomi5, Leila Fabiani6, Silvano Monarca7, Stefano Petti8 and SItI Working Group Hygiene in Dentistry

Author Affiliations

1 Istituto di Igiene e Medicina Preventiva, Università degli Studi di Sassari, Via P. Manzella 4, 07100 Sassari, Italy

2 Cattedra di Igiene ed Epidemiologia, Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope", Via F. Acton, 38 – 80133 Napoli, Italy

3 Dip. di Scienze Biomediche ed Oncologia Umana – Sez. Igiene, Università degli Studi di Bari, Piazza G. Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy

4 Dip di Sanità Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Parma, Via Volturno 39, 43100 Parma, Italy

5 Dip. di Scienze di Sanità Pubblica, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Campi 287 – 41100 Modena, Italy

6 Dip. Di Medicina Interna e Sanità Pubblica – Cattedra di Igiene, Università degli Studi di L'Aquila, Via Vetoio 67010 Coppito di L'Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy

7 Dip. di Specialità Medico Chirurgiche e Sanita' Pubblica, Università degli Studi di Perugia, via Del Giochetto, 06100 Perugia, Italy

8 Dip. Scienze di Sanità Pubblica "G. Sanarelli", Università di Roma "La sapienza", Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma, Italy

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:187  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-187

Published: 29 May 2008

Abstract

Background

The present study assessed microbial contamination in Italian dental surgeries.

Methods

An evaluation of water, air and surface microbial contamination in 102 dental units was carried out in eight Italian cities.

Results

The findings showed water microbial contamination in all the dental surgeries; the proportion of water samples with microbial levels above those recommended decreased during working. With regard to Legionella spp., the proportion of positive samples was 33.3%. During work activity, the index of microbial air contamination (IMA) increased. The level of microbial accumulation on examined surfaces did not change over time.

Conclusion

These findings confirm that some Italian dental surgeries show high biocontamination, as in other European Countries, which highlights the risk of occupational exposure and the need to apply effective measures to reduce microbial loads.