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Baby bottle steam sterilizers disinfect home nebulizers inoculated with bacterial respiratory pathogens

  • Researchers

    Towle D, Callan DA, Farrel PA, Egan ME, Murray TS.

  • Place of research

    Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, United States.

  • Publication

    Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, December 2012

  • Subjects

    , , ,

  • Do baby bottle steam sterilizers effectively kill bacteria on home nebuliser equipment commonly used by patients with cystic fibrosis?

  • Why is this important?

    Home nebulisers are an important part of therapy for CF patients and can become contaminated with bacteria. Many cleaning methods are recommended but time and ease of use often prevents cleaning. Baby bottle steam sterilizers are a potentially quick and easy way to clean home respiratory equipment

  • What did you do?

    We put bacteria that commonly cause lung infection in CF (e.g. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus) onto different parts of three different home nebulisers, the Pari LC Plus®, eFlow® rapid, and eFlow Altera®. We then tried to grow the bacteria before and after treatment with three different baby-bottle sterilizers, the AVENT (Philips), the NUK Quick & Ready (Gerber) and the CAMERA DRY-POD (Camera Baby). Testing was done in wet conditions, dry conditions, and bacteria mixed with sputum from patients with CF.

  • What did you find?

    Bacteria grown before steam treatment were not grown from any of the home nebulisers after treatment with each of the baby bottle steam sterilizers tested under any of the conditions.

  • What does this mean and reasons for caution?

    These results demonstrate that in the laboratory using these experimental conditions, baby bottle steam sterilizer use is a convenient and effective method to clean home nebuliser equipment for seven common CF bacteria. Reasons for caution are that we tested only laboratory bacterial strains and not patient strains that may be more diverse, and that we do not have a method to confirm that the baby bottle sterilizer worked as expected during each use. We also did not test whether multiple exposures to steam sterilization alters the ability of the home nebuliser to deliver drugs effectively.

  • What's next?

    To further examine the effect of steam disinfection on a broader range of bacteria, including bacteria from patients, and on the ability of home nebulisers to deliver drugs