Surface Disinfectants for Burn Units Evaluated by a New Double Method, Using Microorganisms Recently Isolated From Patients, on a Surface Germ-Carrier Model

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Abstract

Assessment methods of surface disinfection based on international standards (Environmental Protection Agency, European Norms, etc) do not correspond to hospital reality. New evaluation methods of surfaces disinfection are proposed to choose the most suitable disinfectant to act against clinically relevant microorganisms detected on the surfaces of burn units. 1) “Immediate effect”: 6 products were compared using a glass germ-carrier and 20 recently isolated microorganisms from different patients in the intensive care units. Disinfectants were applied with microfiber cloths. Log10 reductions were calculated for colony forming units produced after 15 minutes of disinfectant application. 2) “Residual effect”: the glass germ-carriers were previously impregnated with one of the studied disinfectants. After a 30-minute wait period, they were then contaminated with 1 microorganism (from the 20 above-mentioned). After 15 minutes, the disinfectant was inhibited and the log10 reduction of colony forming units was assessed. The immediate effect (disinfection and microorganism dragging and transferring from the surface to the cloth) produced complete elimination of the inoculums for all products used except one (a diluted quaternary ammonium). The average residual effect found on the 20 microorganisms was moderate: 2 to 3 log10 colony forming unit reduction with chlorine dioxide or 0.5% chlorhexidine (and lower with the other products), obtaining surfaces refractory to recontamination, at least, during 30 minutes. Two tests should be performed before advising surface disinfectant: 1) direct effect and 2) residual efficacy. These characteristics should be considered when a new surface disinfectant is chosen. Chlorine dioxide has a similar or better direct effect than sodium hypochlorite and a similar residual effect than chlorhexidine.

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