Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices of Healthcare Personnel Regarding the Transmission of Pathogens via Fomites at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type



Pathology and Laboratory Medicine


Background. Fomites are objects that can become colonized and serve as vectors in the transmission of pathogenic microorganisms. Literature examining the knowledge of healthcare personnel about this method of spread of infection is lacking. We conducted a study to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of healthcare personnel across different areas of patient care regarding the spread of infections at a tertiary care hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods. A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted among healthcare personnel using a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire contained sections pertaining to demographic details and knowledge, attitude, and practices regarding fomites and their role in the transmission of pathogens. Results. Three hundred and fifty-three participants completed the questionnaire: 168 were male and 185 were female. Laboratory coats, stethoscopes, and bedside curtains were most frequently identified as fomites by the participants. Medical students had significantly lower mean scores in the knowledge and attitude sections than consultant physicians, resident physicians, and nurses. Nurses scored higher than consultant physicians, resident physicians, and medical students regarding practices that minimize fomite-borne spread of infections. 95% of the participants scored above 50% on the knowledge component of the questionnaire, but only 32.3% scored above 50% in the practices section. Conclusions. Our results show a large gap between the knowledge about fomites acting as vectors in the spread of pathogens and practices done to minimize this spread. Possessing adequate knowledge is ineffectual until and unless it is translated into the proper application of infection control practices. Incorporating awareness sessions and exercises into curricula are a reasonable way to raise awareness regarding this subject.


Open Forum Infectious Diseases