Immunology, Medical Microbiology

Nosocomial Infection and its Prevention, Source, Transmission

What is a nosocomial infection? Photo by EH News Bureau on expresshealthcare The nosocomial infection is a type of infection which mainly...

MN Editors avatar
MN Editors
This article writter by MN Editors on June 10, 2020

Microbiology Notes is an educational niche blog related to microbiology (bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, etc.) and different branches of biology.

· 3 min read >
Nosocomial Infection
Nosocomial Infection

What is a nosocomial infection?

Nosocomial Infection
Photo by EH News Bureau on expresshealthcare

The nosocomial infection is a type of infection which mainly occurs in hospitals or other medical facilities. Nosocomial infection is also known as hospital-acquired infection (HAI). The term nosocomial is derived from the Greek words “nosos”, which means “disease,” and komeo, meansg “to take care of.”

This type of infection only contracted in a hospital environment. This infection affects all the patients, health-care-associated infections (HAI) can affect nurses, physicians, aides, visitors, salespeople, delivery personnel, custodians, and anyone else who has contact with the hospital.

Definition of Nosocomial Infection

Nosocomial infections are produced by the infectious pathogen that developed within a hospital or other type of medical care facility and is acquired by patience while they are in their facility.

Example of Nosocomial infection

A small group of organisms Responsible for this Infection, including

  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
  • Candida albicans
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Acinetobacter baumannii’
  • Stenotrophomonas maltophilia
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Escherichia coli
  • Tuberculosis
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus
    Legionnaires‘ disease

Also Read: Definition of Epidemiology: Endemic, Epidemic, and Pandemic.

Source of Nosocomial Infection

Nosocomial Infection

Nosocomial Infection divided into two classes based on their source

  1. Exogenous infections
  2. Endogenous infections

Exogenous infections

The source of this type of pathogen is patient, visitors, nurse, or others who enter into the hospital facility.

This type of pathogen can be transmitted by insects, from fomites to patients, equipment used in respiratory or intravenous therapy, catheters, bathroom fixtures and soap, and water systems, also can be a source of exogenous infections.

Endogenous infections

This type of infections is caused by opportunists among the patient’s own normal microflora. In this type the source of pathogen is the patient’s own microbiota.

Nosocomial infections treatment

The treatment procedure of nosocomial infection is varies based on the type of infection. The doctor will be recommended antibiotics and bed rest.

Risk for Nosocomial Infection

  1. The patients in hospitals are much more susceptible to this infection. Many patients have breaks in the skin (membranes like surgical and accidental wounds, or bed sores) and mucous. The lack of intact skin and mucous membranes will help to easy access for infectious organisms. Sometimes patient’s immune system remains weak, the pathogen can take this advantage and can cause infection
  2. The Roommate of a patient can be infected with nosocomial infection.
  3. Elderly people, especially those over the age of 70 who are inside the treatment facility, have a higher risk of nosocomial infections.

Transmission of Nosocomial Infection

Hospital-acquired infection can be transmitted by all modes of transmission that occur in the community, such as;

1. Contact transmission

The most important and common transmission pathway for nosocomial infection is contact with the infected patient.

There are presently two types of contact transmissions such as:

Direct contact transmission, in this type of transmission the pathogen can be transmitted from an infected person to a normal person when the person came in direct contact with the body surface of the patient.

Indirect contact transmission, in this type the pathogen can be transmitted when a normal person came in contact with a contaminated intermediate object (usually inanimate) from infected patients. For example, contaminated instruments, needles, or dressings, or contaminated gloves that are not changed between patients, saline flush syringes, vials, and bags, etc.

2. Droplet

Droplets mainly produce during coughing, sneezing, and talking. Nosocomial infection can be transmitted throughs if the droplets contain infectious pathogens from the infected person.

3. Airborne transmission

The nosocomial infection pathogen can be transmitted through droplet nuclei (The remaining particles after the evaporation of the droplet) or dust particle which are remain suspended in the air

4. Vehicle transmission

This type of pathogen can be transmitted from a host to a person through inanimate objects, such as food, water, medications, devices, and equipment.

5. Vector-borne transmission

In this type, the pathogens are transmitted through living objects such as mosquitoes, flies, rats, etc.

Prevention and Control of Nosocomial Infection

The transmission of hospital-acquired infection can be prevented by this following precaution;

Precaution for Hospital Staffs

  1. Wear gloves and gowns in the medical facility or hospital
  2. Wear masks and protective eyewear during surgery.
  3. Wash hand before and after contact with a patient and every time change gloves for each patient.
  4. Always use disposable mouthpiece/airway for cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  5. Disposed contaminated needles and other sharp items immediately after use.

Precaution for Patients

  1. Proper care should be taken at the patient’s wound.
  2. The patient’s cut area must be kept clean.
  3. Clean spills of blood or contaminated fluids.
  4. Proper handling of excreta and food
  5. Safety techniques
  6. Proper handling of surgical wound care and dressing
  7. When a new patient arrives at the hospital, he should always be isolated.
  8. The hospital has to be sanitized every day.
  9. Every surface of the hospital should be sanitized.

Sites of Nosocomial Infection

Nosocomial infection can be occurring in these following sites of a person, such as urinary tract, surgical wounds, respiratory tract, skin (especially burns), blood (bacteremia), gastrointestinal tract, and central nervous system.


microbiology note app
microbiology note app qr code Scane to download
Download Microbiology Note App Download this app for free from google play store and read ads free notes
Need a Note? Request us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Microbiology Notes is an educational niche blog related to microbiology (bacteriology, virology, parasitology, mycology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, etc.) and different branches of biology.

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.