gms | German Medical Science

GMS Hygiene and Infection Control

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Krankenhaushygiene (DGKH)

ISSN 2196-5226

About GMS Hygiene and Infection Control

Aims & Scope

Infection prevention and control is involved in the complete spectrum of medical treatment, diagnostics, and preventive aspects as well as patient and healthcare-worker (HCW) safety. Specifically, healthcare associated infections (HAI) are a global challenge for the 21st century. The journal GMS Hygiene and Infection Control (GMS HIC) is designed to foster both understanding and practice in the field of infection control with the focus on the prevention of HAI and related aspects of hospital hygiene. Hence, not only scientific articles on the prevention of HAI, including improvement of defense by vaccination and good nutrition, are of interest, but also new findings on the design of life-promoting environments in healthcare facilities to guarantee surroundings conducive to health. Of special interest are articles on the efficacy of antimicrobial agents and measures (sterilization, disinfection, antisepsis, cleaning), infection prevention by probiotics, reprocessing of medical devices, antibiotic and antiseptic stewardship, etiology, risk factors, epidemiology and surveillance of HAI, and quality management of hospital hygiene.

Until 2012 the journal was published under its German name “GMS Zeitschrift für Krankenhaushygiene”. By changing its name to GMS HIC, we wish to underline our international mission.

An important goal of hospital hygiene is the promotion of patient safety with the focus both on infection prevention and ensuring a healthy indoor environment in terms of chemical exposition. The latter includes residues of surface disinfectants, high-volatility organic compounds, surgical smoke, and hazards from molds. Furthermore, a healthy indoor environment avoids potentially detrimental physical exposures, for instance, to noise, climatic influences, and a lack of biodynamic lighting, while also promoting a safe drinking water supply and wastewater disposal even in catastrophic situations such as natural disasters and war. An additional target is the maintenance of mental health, by minimizing stress for patients and HCWs, and nurturing well-being through a hygienic environment. Another important focus is the question of how hospital hygiene can contribute to sustainable development through the careful, well-thought-out use of resources.

Considering the realization of infection control strategies, finding a balance in the conflict between individual freedom vs necessary social distancing and limiting infection-prevention resources to the extent necessary is closely linked to environmental and individual ethical challenges. Thus, ethical analyses become crucial for the implementation of a balanced and holistic concept of hospital hygiene. The protection of patients and HCWs in the hospital context is closely associated with compliance with anti-infective measures; the prerequisites for this lie at several individual and systemic levels of responsibility.

The evolution of the humans was accompanied by infectious diseases; the first form of protecting healthy people from diseased ones was segregation. With the currently increasing scarcity of water resources, archaeological findings on extraction of safe water and maintenance of resources can become of practical interest. In addition to their cultural-historical significance. Through archaeomicrobiology, the study of historical hygiene and microbiome evolution, we can delve into ancient microbial diversity, early hygiene practices, and how dietary and societal changes influenced our microbial symbionts. This multi-faceted approach enhances our overall understanding of infection control.

This open access journal provides a forum for the continuing exchange of information and opinions through contributions from scholars, professionals, policymakers, and others involved in infection control, including lawyers, specialists in environmental medicine, and experts in medical ethics and medical archeology.

GMS HIC and its international editorial board welcome articles from the entire field of infection prevention and control, ensuring a publication channel for important information on even unusual and selective aspects of this subject as well as for other hygienic aspects for patient and HCW safety. Concurrently, GMS HIC wishes to serve as platform for epidemiologic and other data relevant for infection control aspects in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and Turkey, and other countries around the world, which are sometimes not accepted by other international journals due to their unique or highly selective topics.

The journal publishes research articles, review articles, guidelines, recommendations, consensus statements and case reports in English. Every submission is subject to a thorough peer review. The journal offers unlimited space for figures and tables. Furthermore, GMS HIC offers the opportunity to enrich the article with extensive multimedia data. Underlying research data may be published in the data repository Dryad.

GMS HIC is published within German Medical Science (GMS), the publication portal of the Association of the Scientific Medical Societies in Germany (AWMF), which is operated in cooperation with the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences.

The journal is listed in PubMed and its articles are deposited in the PubMed Central repository. GMS HIC is also covered by the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) of the Web of Science, since 2023 it has a Journal Impact Factor of 3.0.

The balancing act of prevention

Prevention is the art of balancing common sense and painful experience, foresight and complicated or banal evidence, ethics and politics, the obvious and the unexpected.

Prevention is the balance of responsibility, reason, convenience, costs for which no one voluntarily accepts responsibility.

Prevention is the challenge to prevent greater harm with lesser efforts, instead of suffering its consequences and dealing with them with disproportionately greater effort.

There is no silver bullet for prevention. That makes it difficult.

Prevention has an agonizing latency with benefits that lie in the uncertain distance.
It requires conviction, patience, painstaking analysis, courage, serendipity.

Prevention is rarely spectacular. Without passionate love, its vision suffocates in futile attempt.

Unfortunately, prevention is not a profit-making stock. Its multiple paths, detours, and uncertainties provoke the clash of opinions, separating the necessary from the unnecessary, efforts made as sacrificial offerings to preserve life.

As long as the struggle is not jeopardized by pretensions of power, vain self-promotion, care-taking incompetence, it has its chance.

The opportune moment, when it’s time to take the new hurdles of progress, must not be missed.
Axel Kramer
Editor in Chief


Editorial Board



Axel Kramer, Prof. Dr. med. em.
Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine
University Medicine Greifswald
Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße 1
17475 Greifswald, Germany

Phone: +49 3834 864832

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-4193-2149

Associate Editors:

Sara Romano-Bertrand, PharmD, PhD
Healthcare Infection Prevention Department
University Hospital of Montpellier
Avenue Augustin Fliche 80
34090 Montpellier, France

Phone: +33 4 67 33 82 96

Daniel Bonn, Prof. Dr.
Institute of Physics
University of Amsterdam
Science Park 904
1098 XH Amsterdam, Netherlands

Phone: +31 205255887

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8925-1997

Julian-Camill Harnoß, PD Dr. med.
Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, University Hospital Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 420
69120 Heidelberg, Germany

Phone:+49 6221 56-36139

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-5197-0248

Adam Junka, Dr. med. Sci.
Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University
Borowska 211a
50-556 Wroclaw, Poland

Phone: +48 717 8406 75

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-7559-8903

Duygu Percin, Prof. MD
Department of Clinical Microbiology
Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine
38039 Kayseri, Turkey

Phone: +90 352 2076666 (-23383)

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4436-5226

Paula Zwicker, PhD
Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine
University Medicine Greifswald
Ferdinand-Sauerbruch-Straße 1
17475 Greifswald, Germany

Phone: +49 3834 864830

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8891-7160

Editorial Advisory Board:

Asensio Vegas Angel, MD PhD
Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda
Calle Manuel de Falla 1
28222 Majadahonda, Spain

Phone: +34 91197413

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2912-8561

Marzenna Bartoszewicz, Dr. habil.
Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Parasitology,  Wroclaw Medical University
Borowska 211a
50-556 Wroclaw, Poland

Phone: +48 71 748-0510

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-6542-2525

Rajinder Pal Singh Bajwa, MD
Division of Infectious Diseases,
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
621 Tenth Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14301, USA

Phone: +1 7162784739
Hicham Benkhai, Dipl. hum. biol.
Rue Robert Stümper 9
L-2557 Luxembourg

Phone: +49 176 45676567

Silvio Brusaferro, Prof. MD
Department of Medicine
University of Udine
Via Colugna 50
33100 Udine, Italy

Phone: +39 0432 555216

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1018-7094

Elena Brusina, Prof., PhD, MD
Department of Epidemiology, Infectious Diseases and Dermatovenerology
Kemerovo State Medical Academy,
Voroshilova str. 22a
650029 Kemerovo, Russia

Phone:+7 3842 396812

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8616-3227

Agnė Čivilytė, PhD
Lithuanian Institute of History
Department of Archeology
Tilto g. 17
01101 Vilnius, Lithuania

Phone: +37 061411552

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-8793-7255

Martin Exner, Prof. Dr. med. em.
Bonn University Hospital
Institute for Hygiene and Public Health
Venusberg-Campus 1
53127 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 287 5520 /-5521

Maren Eggers, PhD
Laboratory Enders & colleagues MVZ
Department of Viroloy
Rosenbergstrasse 85
70193 Stuttgart, Germany

Phone: +49 711 6357 136

Karol Fijałkowski, Dr. habil.
West Pomeranian University of Technology
Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology
Piastów 45
70-311 Szczecin, Poland

Phone: +48 711 6357 136

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4915-6298


Mariacarla Gadebusch Bondio, Prof. Dr. phil.  Dr. rer. med.
University Hospital Bonn
Institute for Medical Humanities
Venusberg-Campus 1 / Building B61
53127 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228-287-15000
Mobile: +49 151 58280412

ORCID ID:  0000-0002-5888-3059
Phillip Hartemann, Prof. MD
Departement Environnement et Santé Publique
S.E.R.E.S., Faculté de Médecine
54500 Nancy, France

Phone: +33 6 64 43 34 65

Li Han, Prof. Dr. rer.nat.
Dep. Disinfection and Infection Control,
Chinese PLA Center for Disease Control & Prevention
DongDa Str. 20,
100071, Beijing, China

Phone: +86 10 66948316

Hilde Jansens, MD
Universitair Ziekenhuis Antwerpen
UZA infection control
Drie Eikenstraat 655,
2650 Edegem, Belgium

Phone: +32 3 821 39 33

Beata Kowalska-Krochmal, Dr. med.
Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Parasitology, Wroclaw Medical University
Borowska 211a
50-556 Wroclaw, Poland

Phone: +48 607156427

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1224-1560

Birgitta Lytsy, Sen. Phys. Ass. Prof.
Department of Infection Prevention and Control Stockholm, Patient’s Safety and Preparedness, Region Stockholm Assembly, Hälso- och sjukvårdsförvaltningen
Box 30017,
104 25 Stockholm, Sweden

Phone: +46 706958941

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1322-7744

Pierre Parneix, Dr.
C.C.L.I.N Sud-Ouest - CHU Pellegrin
Place Amélie Raba-Léon
33076 Bordeaux Cedex, France

Phone: +33 5 56 79 60 58

Walter Popp, Prof. Dr. med.
HyKoMed GmbH
Balkenstr. 17-19
44137 Dortmund, Germany

Telefon: +49 231 9572 5602

Arne Simon, PD Dr. med. habil.
Klinik für Pädiatrische Onkologie und Hämatologie
Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes
Kirrberger Straße, Gebäude 9
66421 Homburg/Saar, Germany

Phone: +49 6841 1628399

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-9558-3330

Peter Walger, Dr. med.
Internistische Intensivmedizin und Infektiologie
Evangelische Kliniken Bonn, Johanniter-Krankenhaus
Johanniterstrasse 3-5
53113 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 5433571

Albert Nienhau, Prof. Dr.
Institute for Health Service Research in Dermatology
and Nursing (IVDP), University Medical Center
Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany;
Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance and Prevention in the Health and Welfare Services (BGW), Hamburg, Germany
Martinistr. 41
20251 Hamburg, Germany

Phone: +49 40 7410 59516

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1881-7302

Babak Asghari, Dr. habil.
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine,
Hamadan University of Medical Sciences
6517838736 Hamadan, Iran

Phone: +98 9125602565

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4038-9618

Language editor:

Kathleen Splieth, MBiol
Strandstraße 7
17498 Wampen, Germany

Phone:+49 3834 894589

Process of reviewing


GMS Hygiene and Infection Control confirms the submission of every manuscript. Each manuscript is subjected to a peer review process conducted by knowledgeable experts in the field serving as referees. The referees assess the originality and scientific quality of the presented data. At least two independent reviewers will carry out the evaluation separately for every manuscript. The experts remain anonymous towards the author, but also towards each other.  Based on their assessment the editorial board finally decides the acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. This decision will be transmitted to the authors as soon as possible.


GMS Hygiene and Infection Control is covered by the following abstracting/indexing services: