Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Ensuring infectious safety of colonoscopy

Introduction / objectives

The growing prevalence of infectious diseases among patients, including HIV infection, increases the risk of transmission of an infection during endoscopic procedures. In 2009 the first 3 cases of HIV transmission through colonoscopy were reported in the USA.


Studying of infectious danger of colonoscopes, processed in the manual and automated way.


Microbiology (determination of total bacterial contamination, lgCFU/ml).


Swab samples taken from instrumental channels of colonoscopes immediately after the procedure (sample 1), after mechanical brushing of channels (sample 2), and after completing high-level disinfection (HLD) or a complete reprocessing cyclein the Automatic Endoscope Reprocessor (AER) ASP Johnson & Johnson (sample 3). Swabs taken from 48 colonoscopes were studied.


Bacterial contamination of instrumental channels (samples 1, 2, and 3) in 17 colonoscopes after their use, brushing, and processing in AER was 8.7 (8-10), 4.74 (3.32-6.3), and 0 lgCFU/ml, respectively. Bacterial contamination (samples 1 and 3) of 16 colonoscopes processed in AER only was 8.87 (8-9.7) and 3.8 (2.7-4.85) lgCFU/ml, respectively. Bacterial contamination (samples 1, 2, and 3) of 15 colonoscopes cleaned manually was 8.99 (8-10.4), 5.2 (3-6.7), and 2.9 (2.7-4.1) lgCFU/ml, respectively.


Processing of colonoscopes in the AER, after preliminary brushing of channels, is the most reliable and effective. In 2008, we have proved that the endoscopes after use on HIV - infected patients represent essential infectious danger. HIV was isolated in the MT-4 human T-lymphoblastoid cells in 33 of 35 (94.3%) samples taken from instrumental channels of endoscopes directly after use and in three samples (8.6%) after completing HLD. All cases of ineffective cleaning were associated with violations of national standards.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


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

Cite this article

Grenkova, T., Selkova, E., Aleshkin, V. et al. Ensuring infectious safety of colonoscopy. BMC Proc 5 (Suppl 6), P309 (2011).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: