Acinetobacter baumannii, a moisture-loving bug that is a common cause of opportunistic infections in hospitals, including ventilator-associated pneumonia, can easily be transferred from examination gloves to plastic surfaces, according to the results of a new study.

A baumannii seems to have a particular affinity for exam gloves and polypropylene plastics, report Kazue Fujita, MD, from Nippon Medical School in Bunkyo, Japan, and colleagues.

Although gowns and gloves protect healthcare workers and patients from transmission of infectious organisms, failure to remove or change contaminated gloves increases the likelihood of transmission, especially when microorganisms are hardy enough to survive on hospital surfaces, Dr Fujita added.