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Dodging disinfection: biofilm-forming skin bacteria can resist disinfectants

What is this research about?

Occasionally, blood components become contaminated with bacteria. The source of contamination is often found to be bacteria that normally live on the skin. Human skin is home to millions of microorganisms. Skin ‘microflora’ includes many different types of bacteria, which may enter the blood unit during the donation process. If bacteria enter a unit, some may survive and even thrive during storage. The risk is greatest with platelet components. Stored at room temperature, platelets provide a particularly good environment for bacteria to grow. Although harmless on the skin of healthy people, if enough bacteria enter the blood stream of a recipient they can cause severe and even fatal infections, especially in patients who are already ill.

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