Historically, it has been thought that suture cassettes become contaminated by bacteria through multiuse. However, High-Quality, High-Volume Spay/Neuter (HQHVSN) veterinarians have been using them for years without issue because of their significantly lower cost. The objective of this study was to determine if absorbable suture cassettes are contaminated through multiuse in an HQHVSN environment. A total of 101 suture samples from suture cassettes were collected from 25 HQHVSN clinics or shelters. The suture samples were placed in an enrichment broth tube and aerobic and anaerobic culture with microbe ID were performed. A total of 17/101 samples were positive for microbial growth, with 11/25 clinics having at least one positive sample. Based on these results, there is a significant risk to using suture cassettes that must be balanced against cost savings. Although HQHVSN veterinarians do not report an increase in infection using suture cassettes, based on the results of this study, there is likely contaminated suture being used during sterilization surgeries at these surgery sites.

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