Antimicrobial efficacy and compatibility of solid copper alloys with chemical disinfectants.

Article English OPEN
Katrin Steinhauer ; Sonja Meyer ; Jens Pfannebecker ; Karin Teckemeyer ; Klaus Ockenfeld ; Klaus Weber ; Barbara Becker
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
  • Journal: PLoS ONE, volume 13, issue 8 (issn: 1932-6203, eissn: 1932-6203)
  • Related identifiers: pmc: PMC6086424, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200748
  • Subject: Microbial Control | Microbial Pathogens | Pseudomonas Aeruginosa | Steel | Pseudomonas | Research Article | Bacteria | Stainless Steel | Eukaryota | Pathology and Laboratory Medicine | Alcohols | Antimicrobials | Chemical Compounds | Physical Sciences | Pathogens | Organic Chemistry | Pharmacology | Staphylococcus | Candida Albicans | Experimental Organism Systems | Fungal Pathogens | Candida | Staphylococcus Aureus | Chemistry | Alloys | Biology and Life Sciences | Materials Science | Drugs | Research and Analysis Methods | Microbiology | Metallurgy | Medicine | Bacterial Pathogens | Yeast | Medical Microbiology | Q | R | Fungi | Copper Alloys | Science | Organisms | Yeast and Fungal Models | Medicine and Health Sciences | Organic Compounds | Mycology

Introduction Chemical disinfection is state of the art in preventing spread of infectious agents in the healthcare setting. Additionally, the antimicrobial properties of solid copper alloy surfaces against various microorganisms have recently been substantiated. Thus, antimicrobially active copper surfaces may serve as an additional barrier against distribution of pathogenic microorganisms and be combined with chemical disinfection measures in the hospital. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate on a quantitative basis whether the combination of chemical disinfectants with copper alloy surfaces results in an overall compromised, combined or even synergistic antimicrobial efficacy. Methods Experiments were carried out using the quantitative carrier test devised by the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) to study antimicrobial efficacy of chemical disinfectants. Requirements for microbicidal efficacy as defined by prEN 14885 were applied. The chemical disinfectants tested in our study contained alcohols (ethanol, 1-propanol), quaternary ammonium compounds (benzalkonium chloride) and glutaraldehyde as actives. Quantitative carrier tests were carried out on different carriers (tiles, copper alloy discs, stainless steel discs) using Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Kocuria rhizophila and Candida albicans as test organisms. Results For the alcohol-based disinfectant no difference in antimicrobial efficacy was observed when applied to antimicrobial active copper alloy carriers, tiles or stainless steel discs. For all test organisms microbial contamination was reduced to the detection limit of < 1 log (CFU/ml) within a contact time of 2 min indicating a ≥ 5 log reduction for the tested bacteria and a ≥ 4 log reduction for the yeast, as being requested for chemical disinfectants by prEN 14885. In order to elucidate a potential synergism the chemical disinfectant based on quaternary ammonium compounds (benzalkonium chloride) and glutaraldehyde was used at a sub-effective concentration. Hence, no complete reduction of microbial contamination was achieved on stainless steel or tile carriers for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. Interestingly, when using copper alloy carriers complete reduction indicating a ≥ 5 log reduction for P. aeruginosa and a ≥ 4 log reduction for C. albicans was detected. Thus, data of this study indicates that solid copper alloy surfaces and disinfectants synergize. Conclusions According to this data, commercially available disinfectants based on alcohol, quaternary ammonium compounds and aldehyde can effectively be combined in a dual strategy with solid copper alloy surfaces to reduce microbial contamination.
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