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World Gastroenterology Organisation
World Gastroenterology Organisation

WGO Announces the Release of the Newly Updated Endoscope Disinfection Guideline

The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) has announced the release of the updated “Endoscope disinfection -- a guide to resource-sensitive reprocessing” Guideline.  This Guideline is chaired by Dr. Tony Speer of the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia.

Dr. Speer stated that, "This updated guideline addresses the recent outbreaks of multidrug-resistant organisms after endoscopy and proposes measures to reduce the risks of these outbreaks occurring."  He also noted that the update states upfront that “The most important step in endoscope reprocessing is scrupulous manual cleaning prior to disinfection. Disinfection will fail if cleaning has been inadequate.”  

“It is increasingly recognized that biofilms on endoscopes compromise cleaning and disinfection. The conditions reported as causes of outbreaks facilitate biofilm formation and growth, these include inadequate cleaning, inadequate drying, occult endoscope defects including channel damage and breaches of reprocessing protocols.”

“Biofilm prevention and control are core problems in reprocessing that are addressed in these guidelines.  Recommendations have been made to improve cleaning and drying and to reduce occult endoscope defects and breaches of reprocessing protocols.”

“The science of reprocessing is evolving. New research, including basic research, clinical research, and randomized trials, undertaken in response to the publications of outbreaks of CPE, is now being published. The guidelines will be updated as new information is published. These and other recent guidelines recommend hospitals appoint a multidisciplinary committee with a diversity of interests and expertise to assess new information as it is published and develop, implement, and importantly regularly update reprocessing guidelines that are appropriate to the hospital’s resources and patient mix.

"Effective reprocessing is key to patient safety in endoscopy.”

The Guideline is intended for use by health providers and professionals who are involved in the use, cleaning, and maintenance of endoscopes, and it aims to support national societies, official bodies, and individual endoscopy departments in developing local standards and protocols for reprocessing endoscopes.

The Guideline was created with the global view of many Guideline Review Team members, which in addition to Dr. Speer include: Michelle Alfa (Canada), Alistair Cowen (Australia), Dianne Jones (Australia), Karen Vickery (Australia), Helen Griffiths (United Kingdom), Douglas Nelson (USA), Roque Sáenz (Chile) and Anton LeMair (Netherlands).  The guideline and can be accessed at

WGO has a library of 26 Global Guidelines, which are written from a viewpoint of global applicability. Each Guideline goes through a rigorous process of authoring, editing, and peer review, and is as evidence based as possible. WGO guidelines have adopted a global focus. Each WGO guideline is available in English, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish and is updated as new information and evidence is discovered. The Global Guidelines Committee meets each year to discuss updating and creating new guidelines and consists of 30-plus members from around the globe.


Formed in 1935 and incorporated in 1958, The World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) is a federation of 114 member societies and 4 regional associations of gastroenterology representing more than 50,000 individual members worldwide, focusing on the improvement of standards in gastroenterology training and education on a global scale. The WGO Foundation, incorporated in 2007, is dedicated to raising funds to support WGO educational programs and activities. For more information, contact: