Compound targets stubborn bacteria

08 Aug 2012

Healthcare settings could benefit from a new disinfectant in controlling the spread of persistent infections, a study has revealed.

The compound, Akwaton, works at extremely low concentrations to destroy bacterial spores that attach to surfaces and are normally difficult to eliminate.

Researchers in Canada found that the disinfectant is effective against strains of Clostridium difficile, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

Spore-forming bacteria can survive on surfaces for long periods of time, with most chemical disinfectants acting to control or prevent their growth rather than destroying them. In the study, Akwaton was able to destroy bacterial spores on stainless steel or glass surfaces within 90 seconds at concentrations well below 1%.

Dr Mathias Oule, who led the research, said: "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, odourless and is effective at very low concentrations."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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