Prevention of transmission of antibiotic-resistant pathogens by fingers: Role and determination of antiseptic half-life

Robert Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Hygienic hand disinfection (HHD) after each hand contact is essential to reduce healthcare-associated infection (HCAI). However, hand washing is universally irregular, and a schematic model has been formulated to analyse the potential effect of the half-life (T1/2) of HHD agents on non-compliant hygiene. The main factor determining T1/2 is kinetic loss of applied agent from the fingertips. A contact transfer model taking account of kinetic loss has been used by volunteer subjects in an investigation of T1/2 of an alcohol gel and an alcoholic chlorhexidine hand rub against antibiotic-sensitive strains of HCAI pathogens. Pig skin has been used in a variation of this model to investigate T1/2 of test agents against antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. Preliminary results show that for antibiotic-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, the T1/2 of the chlorhexidine rub can exceed 24 hours and sustain over 2000 finger-to-surface contacts as a measure of kinetic loss. For resistant bacteria, including epidemic methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and Multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii, T1/2 is about 15 minutes, but only a maximum of 100 finger-to-surface contacts are sustainable. The alcohol gel could not prevent transfer of antibiotic-resistant HCAI pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalRound Table Series - Royal Society of Medicine
Issue number84
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Copyright:
Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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