Skip to main content


P102: Healthcare workers’ hand contamination levels and antimicrobial efficacy of different hand hygiene methods used in a Vietnamese hospital

Article metrics


The quality of water in Viet Nam for handwashing with soap or other disinfectant solutions is unknown. We assessed the risk for hand contamination and compared the efficacy of five hand hygiene methods to remove bacterial contamination in a tertiary Vietnamese hospital.


Five fingertip imprints of the dominant hand of 134 healthcare workers (HCWs) were sampled to establish the average bacterial count before and after hand hygiene action using: 1) alcohol-based handrub (ABHR); 2) plain soap and water handwashing with filtered and unfiltered water; 3) 4% chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) hand antisepsis with filtered and unfiltered water.


Average bacterial contamination of hands before hand hygiene was 1.65 log10. Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus were the most commonly isolated bacterial pathogens. Highest average count before hand hygiene was recovered from HCWs without direct patient contact (2.10 ± 0.11 log10). Bacterial counts were markedly reduced after hand hygiene with ABHR (1.4 log10; p<0.0001) and CHG with filtered water (0.8 log10; p<0.0001). Use of unfiltered water was associated with non-significant reduction in bacterial counts.


HCWs carry high levels of bacteria on their dominant hand, even without direct patient contact. ABHR as an additional step may overcome the effect of high bacterial counts in unfiltered water when soap and water handwashing is indicated.

Disclosure of interest

None declared

Author information

Correspondence to S Salmon.

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


  • Healthcare Worker
  • Bacterial Count
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Chlorhexidine
  • Acinetobacter Baumannii