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1.  Pitfalls in efficacy testing – how important is the validation of neutralization of chlorhexidine digluconate? 
Effective neutralization of active agents is essential to obtain valid efficacy results, especially when non-volatile active agents like chlorhexidine digluconate (CHG) are tested. The aim of this study was to determine an effective and non-toxic neutralizing mixture for a propan-1-ol solution containing 2% CHG.
Experiments were carried out according to ASTM E 1054-02. The neutralization capacity was tested separately with five challenge microorganisms in suspension, and with a rayon swab carrier. Either 0.5 mL of the antiseptic solution (suspension test) or a saturated swab with the antiseptic solution (carrier test) was added to tryptic soy broth containing neutralizing agents. After the samples were mixed, aliquots were spread immediately and after 3 h of storage at 2 – 8°C onto tryptic soy agar containing a neutralizing mixture.
The neutralizer was, however, not consistently effective in the suspension test. Immediate spread yielded a valid neutralization with Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Corynebacterium jeikeium but not with Micrococcus luteus (p < 0.001) and Candida albicans (p < 0.001). A 3-h storage period of the neutralized active agents in suspension resulted in significant carry-over activity of CHG in addition against Staphylococcus epidermidis (p < 0.001) and Corynebacterium jeikeium (p = 0.044). In the carrier test, the neutralizing mixture was found to be effective and non toxic to all challenge microorganisms when spread immediately. However, after 3 h storage of the neutralized active agents significant carry-over activity of CHG against Micrococcus luteus (p = 0.004; Tukey HSD) was observed.
Without effective neutralization in the sampling fluid, non-volatile active ingredients will continue to reduce the number of surviving microorganisms after antiseptic treatment even if the sampling fluid is kept cold straight after testing. This can result in false-positive antiseptic efficacy data. Attention should be paid during the neutralization validation process to the amount of antiseptic solution, the storage time and to the choice of appropriate and sensitive microorganisms.
PMCID: PMC2613926  PMID: 19046465
2.  Comprehensive bactericidal activity of an ethanol-based hand gel in 15 seconds 
Some studies indicate that the commonly recommended 30 s application time for the post contamination treatment of hands may not be necessary as the same effect may be achieved with some formulations in a shorter application time such as 15 s.
We evaluated the bactericidal activity of an ethanol-based hand gel (Sterillium® Comfort Gel) within 15 s in a time-kill-test against 11 Gram-positive, 16 Gram-negative bacteria and 11 emerging bacterial pathogens. Each strain was evaluated in quadruplicate.
The hand gel (85% ethanol, w/w) was found to reduce all 11 Gram-positive and all 16 Gram-negative bacteria by more than 5 log10 steps within 15 s, not only against the ATCC test strains but also against corresponding clinical isolates. In addition, a log10 reduction > 5 was observed against all tested emerging bacterial pathogens.
The ethanol-based hand gel was found to have a broad spectrum of bactericidal activity in only 15 s which includes the most common species causing nosocomial infections and the relevant emerging pathogens. Future research will hopefully help to find out if a shorter application time for the post contamination treatment of hands provides more benefits or more risks.
PMCID: PMC2259358  PMID: 18211682
3.  Eradication of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with an antiseptic soap and nasal mupirocin among colonized patients – an open uncontrolled clinical trial 
Aim of the study was to determine the clinical efficacy of a new antiseptic liquid soap (Stellisept® scrub), based on the combination of undecylenamidopropyltrimonium methosulphate (4%) and phenoxyethanol (2%), for eradication of MRSA among colonized patients who do not receive antibiotic therapy.
Over two years 50 MRSA patients in 6 hospitals were observed. Treatment was defined as the daily application of Stellisept scrub for the antiseptic body and hair wash (at least 60 s) in combination with nasal mupirocin. A treatment cycle was a minimum of 5 days treatment. Screening was carried out at least 48 h after the treatment cycle was finished, with 24 h between each of the requested three or more samplings, which included the nasopharynx, groin, axilla, perineum and other MRSA-positive skin areas.
Fifteen cases were retrospectively excluded (lack of outcome documentation, concomitant antibiotic therapy, open wounds). All 35 patients had colonization with MRSA before antiseptic treatment on the skin, in the groin (80%), the axilla (25.7%), the perineum (20%) or other skin areas (14.3%). Colonization at more than one skin sites was found in 34.3%. Nasal colonization was found in 21 of 28 patients (75%), 7 patients were without nasal screening prior to the antiseptic treatment. After one treatment cycle MRSA was eradicated in 25 patients (71.4%), after a second cycle the total eradication rate was 91.4%, after a third cycle the rate increased to 94.2%. No patient discontinued the antiseptic treatment due to dermal intolerance of the product.
Progressive eradication of MRSA carriage was observed with the antiseptic soap and mupirocin. The eradication rate was not biased by concomitant antibiotic treatment, screening during treatment or lack of evidence for colonization in contrast to other studies with other preparations.
PMCID: PMC421744  PMID: 15175106

Results 1-3 (3)