Welcome to Professional and Technical Services (PTS) – experts in chemical disinfection for infection prevention. Our goal is to educate and provide you the latest resources related to cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces, medical devices and hands. As specialists in disinfectant chemistries, microbiology, environmental cleaning and disinfection, facility assessments and policy and procedure creation we are dedicated to helping any person or facility who uses chemical disinfectants.

Our expertise is utilized by Infection Preventionists, Public Health Experts, First Responders, Dentists, Physicians, Nurses, Veterinarians, Aestheticians, Environmental Services professionals and janitorial product distributors to develop more sustainable cleaning and disinfection practices in North America.

Our commitment to providing chemical disinfectant education is more than business, it is a passion.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

#FF Schools Out for Summer!

Many events this week signify the end of another school year.  Teachers are counting down the hours, minutes and likely seconds, kids are as excited as Christmas morning and parents are panicking and have  probably already counted the number of days until the next school year starts – 66 days to be exact!  Summer of course can also mean the beginning of summer school, catching up on reading during vacation or if you’d prefer listening to podcasts or teleclasses, the following may be right up your alley!

As noted in past blogs, the Teleclass Education by Webber Training is an international lecture series on topics related to infection prevention and control. The objective is to bring the best possible education to the widest possible audience with the fewest possible barriers when trying to access it.  Here's the list of teleclasses for the third quarter of 2016.

Title of Teleclass
July 21st
Behavioural and Organizational Determinants of Successful Infection Prevention and Control Interventions
Dr. Enrique Castro-Sánchez, England
August 18th
Use of Hypochlorite (Bleach) in Healthcare Facilities
Dr. William Rutala, USA
August 25th
Applications and Limitations of Dipslides and PCR for Real-Time Environmental Contamination Evaluations
Dr. Tobias Ibfelt, Denmark
September 16th
Infection Control and Pet Therapy
Dr. Scott Weese, Canada
September 22nd
Hardware or Software? Interventions for a Sustainable Infection Control Program
Prof. Joost Hopman, The   Netherlands
September 29th
Adherence Engineering to Reduce Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections
Prof. Frank Drews, USA
For more information on Webber Training, including a full list of the upcoming Infection Prevention and Control Teleclasses, please visit www.webbertraining.com

I hope many of you will take the opportunity to listen to these teleclasses and share them with your colleagues! After all, learning doesn’t have to end with the school year!

Bugging Off!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Does your PICU have Burkholderia?

When it rains it pours – or at least that seems to be the typical modus operandi when it comes to outbreaks or new bugs popping up.  Last week was the announcement of E. coli with the mcr-1 gene in a human patient in the US.  This week it’s a notice sent out by APIC and the CDC about clusters of Burkholderia cepacia in PICUs asking for healthcare professionals to report any clusters of B. cepacia directly to the CDC.

According the email I received from APIC, the CDC has received several reports about clusters of B. cepacia infections seen in patients not associated with cystic fibrosis, which is more common.  The isolates from at least 2 states have matching strain types suggesting there is a common source.  Burkholderia is a gram-negative bacterium that is commonly found in soil and water, and while it is not a pathogen that is typically a medical risk to healthy people, it is often resistant to antibiotics.  The type of infection can range from no symptoms to serious respiratory infections, especially with cystic fibrosis patients.

The fact that several states have found the same strain is concerning as there have been past outbreaks associated with transmission as a result of contaminated medicines and devices including a 2004 voluntary recall of an over-the-counter nasal spray due to contamination, a 2004 outbreak lined to exposure to sublingual probes and a 2005 outbreak with clusters of pneumonia and other infections associated with a contaminated mouthwash.

Due to the ubiquitous nature of Burkholderia, it can be spread to susceptible persons via direct person-to-person contact and contact with contaminated environmental surfaces and fomites.  The fact that these bacteria can readily be found in the environment makes cleaning and disinfection important, particularly in manufacturing facilities where as noted above, clusters of infections have been associated with contaminated mouthwash, nasal spray and medical devices.  Once in a healthcare facility cleaning and disinfection and strict adherence to hand hygiene needs to be considered to avoid indirect transmission to patients through contact with contaminated surfaces or contaminated hands of healthcare workers.

It will be interesting to follow this investigation as the CDC works to determine what the common source for these clusters are.  You can be sure that I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that it is found quickly and the number of PICU patients infected can be minimized!

Bugging Off - with the hopes that next week I’ll continue on the journey of our Disinfection Dysfunction story!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Has the sky fallen with mcr-1?

This week the blog was supposed to be a continuance of our Disinfection Dysfunction campaign, but then a CDC Health Advisory came out and it seems a bit more critical.  Many of you probably know exactly what I’m talking about – the first mcr-1 gene in E. coli has been found in a human in the US.  The panic over this finding is that the mcr-1 gene carried by the E. coli bacteria makes it resistant to the antibiotic colistin, the drug used against particularly dangerous types of superbugs that can already withstand many other antibiotics. Even more concerning is the fact that the patient does not have any recent history of travel outside of the US – meaning they acquired it somewhere within the US!

If we look at the history of mcr-1, the first report came from China in late 2015, however investigations of historical isolates show that rare occurrences have been identified outside of the US since the 1980’s.  Isolates have been found in humans, food, environmental samples and food animals in at least 20 countries worldwide showing that it’s a One Health problem when it comes to the war against antimicrobial resistance - people, animals and the planet are all connected.

In the US, prior to finding mcr-1 in a human, two samples had been found in pigs. Infection Prevention experts' biggest fear is that the gene will spread to bacteria that are now susceptible only to colistin. In all three cases in the US, the strain of E.coli has been different, but the gene was carried on a plasmid, a mobile piece of DNA that easily can transfer the gene to other bacteria. That would result in a kind of super-superbug, invincible to every life-saving antibiotic available.

If we can find the silver lining in the emergence of mcr-1, it’s the fact that from a cleaning and disinfection perspective, we know that antimicrobial resistance does NOT equal chemical resistance.  Nor do we need to panic over whether or not the disinfectant we are using carries a claim against mcr-1.  Over the years we have included several blogs on this topic including “Doors, Keys and Sledgehammers” and “I’ll take Kill Claims for $200”.  I hope you’ll consider reading this to understand that while cleaning and disinfection is vitally important and that it needs to be completed correctly, consistently and without ‘cutting corners’, we do not need to panic over the tools we already have in our facilities.  If your disinfectant has a claim against E. coli, you’ll be fine – heck if your disinfectant kills bacteria, you’ll be fine!

Bugging Off!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Cross Contamination Conundrum

One of Charles Caleb Colton’s most famous quotes was “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.  I would hazard a guess that most of you have heard or used that quote at some point in time.  In developing our messaging for our Disinfection Dysfunction education campaign, “someone who may or may not have previously written for Talk Clean To Me” decided to imitate me with a little alliteration (albeit probably more mocking than flattery owing to my love of a good alliteration), but hey, I’ll take what I can get!

What is Cross Contamination Conundrum you ask?  Well, it’s a relatively unknown or unspoken situation where some disinfectants can transfer pathogens from surface to surface during the disinfection process.   I think we all know that a new disinfectant wipe or cloth should be used on surfaces as the room is being disinfected, but the truth is that when auditing cleaning procedures, we frequently observe that this is not the case.  Using a single wipe over a number of surfaces can lead to transfer of pathogens from one surface to the next and not the removal of them from the environment.

Because high touch surfaces are increasingly being recognized for their potential contribution to spreading pathogens, Sattar et al set out to develop a testing method that more closely simulates field use of disinfectants.  Part of the interest was to investigate if the disinfectant wipes were doing their job in removing microbial pathogens from the surfaces they were being used to clean, and if not, whether they could then transfer these pathogens to neighbouring areas.

The researchers used their recently recognized test method (ASTM E2967-15) and conducted testing at 3 independent laboratories using 5 different commercially available disinfectants against Staphylococcus aureus and Acinetobacter baumannii. The wipes were tested based on their ability to decontaminate a surface within 10-seconds of wiping without transferring pathogens to a clean surface.  The study showed that the test method was both repeatable and reproducible between different labs.  The good news was that all disinfectant products tested were able to achieve a >4Log (99.99%) reduction against the bacteria tested with 10-seconds of wiping.  However, only 1 disinfectant product (Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide®) was able to prevent transfer of bacteria to a secondary surface.  All other products exhibited transfer of bacteria to secondary surfaces.

The study begs the question, does your disinfectant cause cross contamination?  I hope you’ll spend some time investigating to find out!

Bugging Off!


Friday, June 3, 2016

#FF The APIC Conference Is ALMOST Here!

As mentioned a few weeks ago in my “#FF The IPAC-Canada Conference Is Here!” blog, I’m lucky because I get to attend a lot of conferences throughout the year.   I’ve spent quite a bit of time checking out the APIC education line up and “WOW”, I am super stoked to be heading to Charlotte, NC in just 8 more sleeps!

So what am I going to ‘get my geek on’ over?  The following are the research abstracts I am definitely going to be checking out:
  1. Hand Hygiene Intervention Design Recommendations Derived from a Cross Sectional Factorial Survey Given to 460 Acute Care Nurses
  2. Irritant Contact Dermatitis: A Survey of Healthcare Worker Knowledge, Perceptions and Actions
  3. Outbreak Investigation of Carbapenem-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae in a Long-term Acute Care Facility
  4. Movement of Pathogens from Public Restroom to Clinical Areas in a Hospital
  5. Centralization of Sterilization and High Level Disinfection from Multiple Outpatient Settings to a Centralized Sterile Processing Department Provides Consistent Process
  6. Does Regionalization of an Infection Prevention Program Lead to Program Optimization and Standardization?
  7. Tabletop Sterilizers: Assessing and Monitoring Professional Standard and Regulatory Requirement Compliance
  8. Impact of an Improved Hydrogen Peroxide (IHP) Disinfectant versus a Quaternary Ammonium-based (Quat) Disinfectant on Surface Contamination and Healthcare Outcomes

Aside from checking these research abstracts out, you’ll find me soaking up everything I can during the day at the APIC conference.  There are several sessions where I will be flipping a coin to determine which ones I attend because I’ve not yet been able to figure out how to clone myself!  Saturday morning at 6:00am you’ll find me all bright-eyed enjoying breakfast while listening intently to Dr. John Boyce’s talk Optimal Patient Room Cleaning and Disinfection: Product and Compliance.  The session is reviewing a recent study that resulted in a 23% reduction of HAIs through improved cleaning and disinfection compliance! 

You can be sure I will also not miss Stephen Dubners opening plenary talk Business and Management Lessons from Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, Dr. Rutala’s talk on Disinfection and Sterilization: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Dev Anderson’s talk on New Insights into Environmental Disinfection and the closing plenary by Josh Linkner Executing Imagination: Turning Raw Ideas into Powerful Results.

When I’m not at sessions, I’ll be supporting our Disinfection Dysfunction education campaign – I hope you’ll drop by to “Talk Clean to Me” and learn if your disinfectant has a dysfunction!

Bugging Off!