New Non-Toxic, Anti-MRSA Disinfectant May be the Best and Safest for Hospitals and Homes
According to Dr. Mathias Oulé, the lead researcher in a study about a new non-toxic disinfectant called “Akwaton,” some strains of disease-causing bacteria are not only becoming resistant to antibiotics, but cleaning disinfectants as well.
“Bacterial spores demonstrate a remarkable resistance to physical and chemical agents as well as ordinary antiseptics. On top of this, micro-organisms are becoming increasingly resistant to disinfectants as well as antibiotics. Our latest study shows Akwaton is effective at destroying these spores as well as bacteria that are known problems in healthcare environments” says Dr. Oulé.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes are coming under increasing biological and social attack as the infection rates during a hospital stay are rapidly increasing and causing justified alarm in patients and government health officials.
Part of the problem has to do with the difficulty in adequately killing off bacterial contamination where many bacteria can enter a protective spore state that can then later give rise to new outbreaks of infections weeks to months after a thorough cleaning has been instituted in a facility.
Spore-forming bacterial strains that cause serious illness include Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens, of which the especially difficult Clostridium difficile bacterium has become an increasing health risk in hospitals.
Another part of the problem is that the disinfectant used has to be non-toxic to humans or used in concentrations low enough to prevent injury and illness, but yet still strong enough to destroy resistant bacteria. The good news is that a recent article published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology reports that the Akwaton disinfectant is not only non-toxic to humans, but also able to successfully destroy bacterial spores at low concentrations, and just may be the answer to hospital infection woes.
“Most disinfectants have to be applied at much higher concentrations—typically between 4-10%—to properly get rid of bacterial spores. Unfortunately such high levels of these compounds may also be harmful to humans and other animals. Akwaton is non-corrosive, non-irritable, odorless and is effective at very low concentrations,” states Dr. Oulé.
Akwaton is an antimicrobial biocide of the guanidine family and is recognized and approved for use in the European Union. In tests of its effectiveness against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli, Alwaton successfully killed MRSA and E. coli respectively at a concentrations ≥ 0.04% and ≥ 0.005% within 90 seconds of exposure. In comparison to hydrogen peroxide and 70% alcohol, a 0.05% solution of Alwaton was found to be 3 times more effective in killing several types of bacteria.
The authors point out that due to its ease of use, non-toxicity, effectiveness in totally destroying spores that Alwaton has definite applications not only for hospital use, but in restaurants and in the home as well.
“All these properties make it an ideal disinfectant for hospitals and laboratories. It may also have great value in the food industry to tackle spore-forming food pathogens such as Bacillus cereus and Clostridium perfringens,” says Dr. Oulé.
Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile
Reference: “Akwaton, polyhexamethylene-guanidine hydrochloride-based sporicidal disinfectant: a novel tool to fight bacterial spores and nosocomial infections” Journal of Medical Microbiology (August 2012); Mathias Oulé, Ph.D. et al.