Peer Review History

Original SubmissionMarch 14, 2022
Decision Letter - Christopher Staley, Editor

PONE-D-22-07606Efficacy of laparotomy sponges to reduce bacterial contamination using an in vitro gastrointestinal surgery model.PLOS ONE

Dear Dr. Bezhentseva,

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Christopher Staley, Ph.D.

Academic Editor


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Reviewers' comments:

Reviewer's Responses to Questions

Comments to the Author

1. Is the manuscript technically sound, and do the data support the conclusions?

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Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes


2. Has the statistical analysis been performed appropriately and rigorously?

Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes


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Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes


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Reviewer #1: Yes

Reviewer #2: Yes


5. Review Comments to the Author

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Reviewer #1: This is the first in vitro study assessing the efficacy of laparotomy sponges of various layer-densities tested at different contamination volumes and during different exposure times in the reduction of E. coli contamination.

The study provides novel information for veterinarians or surgeons who perform gastrointestinal surgery, to which authors recommed to use laparotomy songes with a minimum of 6 layers.

My only suggestion before publication is to reduce the introduction and to move figure legends and tables at the end of the manuscript.

Reviewer #2: Minimizing the risk of bacterial contamination in laparotomies is extremely important, due to the risk of peritonitis and patient death. The primary purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of laparotomy sponges in reducing bacterial contamination in an in vitro model and to evaluate whether bacterial contamination is dependent upon layer-density of laparotomy sponges or volume of contaminant.

But some points need to be clarified.

1. Methods:

- Experimental procedure – page 13 – lines 144-148: “…sponges were soaked, squeezed out manually, and each folded into the layer-density being evaluated per trial. For 2 layers, 1 sponge was folded in half once. For 4 layers, 1 sponge was folded in half twice. For 6 layers, 1 sponge was folded in half twice and a second sponge was folded in half once and these were stacked. For 8 layers, 2 sponges were each folded in half twice and these were stacked.” It was not clear whether only one side of the sponges or both sides were seeded onto the agar Petry plates.

2. Results:

- Page 17 - Table 1 - put the meaning of SE.


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Reviewer #1: No

Reviewer #2: No

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Revision 1

Editor comments:

The requested changes to the manuscript type have been completed following the style templates provided.

The authors have reviewed all references and cited articles and none were found to be retracted.

As requested, all figure files were uploaded to PACE for evaluation and PACE approved figure files were uploaded with the revised manuscript documents.

Reviewer #1 comments:

Thank you, Reviewer #1. The introduction has been reduced in length. The authors would like to comply with this reviewer’s request to move figure legends and tables to the end of the manuscript. However, the PLOS ONE manuscript style requirements for submission require that figure captions are inserted “immediately following the paragraph in which the figure is first cited,” and the same applies for all tables.

Reviewer #2 comments:

Thank you for your comment and bringing this to the authors’ attention. I have clarified these points in the revised manuscript lines 205-209. Only one surface of the folded and/or stacked laparotomy sponges is in contact with the blood agar to model contact how a laparotomy sponge would contact abdominal viscera during surgical procedures.

The meaning of SE has been added to the table legend.

Submitted filename: Response to Reviewers.docx
Decision Letter - Christopher Staley, Editor

Efficacy of laparotomy sponges to reduce bacterial contamination using an in vitro gastrointestinal surgery model.


Dear Dr. Bezhentseva,

We’re pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been judged scientifically suitable for publication and will be formally accepted for publication once it meets all outstanding technical requirements.

Within one week, you’ll receive an e-mail detailing the required amendments. When these have been addressed, you’ll receive a formal acceptance letter and your manuscript will be scheduled for publication.

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Kind regards,

Christopher Staley, Ph.D.

Academic Editor


Additional Editor Comments (optional):

Reviewers' comments:

Formally Accepted
Acceptance Letter - Christopher Staley, Editor


Efficacy of laparotomy sponges to reduce bacterial contamination using an in vitro gastrointestinal surgery model

Dear Dr. Bezhentseva:

I'm pleased to inform you that your manuscript has been deemed suitable for publication in PLOS ONE. Congratulations! Your manuscript is now with our production department.

If your institution or institutions have a press office, please let them know about your upcoming paper now to help maximize its impact. If they'll be preparing press materials, please inform our press team within the next 48 hours. Your manuscript will remain under strict press embargo until 2 pm Eastern Time on the date of publication. For more information please contact

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Kind regards,

PLOS ONE Editorial Office Staff

on behalf of

Dr. Christopher Staley

Academic Editor


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