A motel in Montreal is one of several motels across Canada showing traces of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a CBC Marketplace investigation.
The investigation found traces of Clostridium difficile — better known as C. difficile — and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in major hotel chains in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Traces of the bacteria were found in the Super 8 in Vaudreuil.
"We're very disappointed in the results … all of our hotels are going to take a very close look at their policies and procedures, particularly in cleaning," said William Brown, executive vice-president of the Montreal Hotel Association.
According to University of Montreal biochemistry department chair Christian Baron, the bacteria are not a cause for panic, but they could be a problem for people with weakened immune systems and the elderly.
Microbiologist Keith Warriner, who did the tests for Marketplace, called the findings as "alarming."
"It was a surprise at the start, but amazing that all these hotels had superbugs," he said. "When you get … the antibiotic-resistant bacteria we're finding, that's not scare-mongering, that's real. These are real pathogens that can cause real illnesses."
Using an ultraviolet flashlight and an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) meter that measures microbial contamination, Warriner found the worst bacterial hot spots in the hotel rooms.
Comforters proved the dirtiest, while faucets, remote controls, bed throws, bathroom sinks and toilet bases were the most commonly contaminated spots.
Hidden cameras in the rooms also captured maids using cleaning techniques that would actually help spread bacteria.
One camera captured a maid using a toilet brush to clean a sink, and another using the same rag to wipe a toilet seat and then a faucet.
Wyndham Hotels, which owns the Super 8 franchise, replied with written a statement that its hotels are all independently owned and operated, but all franchises will face action if they compromise quality or customer safety.