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Exploration Before Population – A Precis on a Hospital Microbiome Study Planning Session

I heard about the microbiome study and did a quick search, printed something out (these aren’t always easy to find) and added the article to my reading pile.  I don’t read at the computer.  I find that it is kind of like trying to read the writing on a light bulb – while the bulb is turned on….  My screen is turned down quite a bit but, that just delays the reading fatigue.  Hmmm…. maybe there is an article on this?

Anyways, the paper I printed turned out to be the minutes of a meeting on the planning of the hospital microbiome project at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  It is an interesting read!


The Article:

Smith, D., Alverdy, J., An, G., Coleman, M., Garcia-Houchins, S., Green, J., Keegan, K., Kelley, S.T., Kirkup, B.C., Kociolek, L., Levin, H., Landon, E., Olsiewski, P., Knight, R., Siegel, J., Weber, S., and Gilbert, J.  2013.  The Hospital Microbiome Project:  Meeting Report for the 1st Hospital Microbiome Project Workshop on Sampling Design and Building Science Measurements, Chicago, USA, June 7th-8th 2012.  Standards in Genomic Sciences  8(1), 112-117.  Published Online Apr 15, 2013.  doi:  10.4056/sigs.3717348


My Precis

This is a planning discussion for a study that will sample the environment of a hospital and its occupants, beginning before construction is complete to look at how hospital acquired infections are contracted and transmitted.


My Precis Expanded:

A lack of research into how hospital acquired infections are acquired and transmitted has prompted an investigation in a new hospital pavilion with the research scheduled to begin before the pavilion opens. When the building opens the building itself will then be exposed to health care workers, patients and visitors. This paper discusses how a systematic exploration, beginning with the architectural design and maintenance of the building and utilities could be used to track the progress of microbial community succession.

The planning meeting of this long-term research project included discussion on the architectural design and maintenance of the building and utilities as well as the materials and processes used and to be used. It was decided that two rooms were to be sampled daily and another 18 rooms on a weekly schedule and that the schedule would include the collecting of any “samples of interest.” The current tracking of staff between rooms and staff self-tracking in their usage of items such as glove boxes was added to the sampling schedules.

Another meeting will be held after the project has begun.



I found the original article here:

If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.


There is a wonderful website here: