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Infections following cystoscopy are rare and often asymptomatic (Richards and Bastable, 1977; Manson, 1988; Clark and Higgs, 1990). However, outbreaks may occur if instruments are either poorly decontaminated or have been previously damaged. Many urologists now perform flexible fibreoptic cystoscopy on an out-patient basis. In such endoscopy units, infection control measures must include the prevention of transmission of blood borne infections such as hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to the risk of blood contamination of urine and should be implemented in all cases regardless of patient risk factors (UK Health Departments, 1990). In hospitals that classify patients into low and high risk groups, medical staff may fail to recognise a number of significant risk factors (Parry et al., 1991). Though to date there have been only 2 reports of viral (HBV) transmission following endoscopy (both gastrointestinal) (Birnie et al., 1983; Gorse and Messner, 1991), the potential risk for cross-infection remains. Thus the appropriate decontamination of fibreoptic endoscopes continues to be an extremely important issue.