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J Hosp Infect. 1999 Jun;42(2):143-50.

Efficacy of hand disinfectants against vancomycin-resistant enterococci in vitro.

Author information

1
Institut für Hygiene, Umweltmedizin und Arbeitsmedizin, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) may be spread within a hospital via the contaminated hands of the healthcare worker. Effective hand disinfectants are necessary to break chains of transmission. We determined the bactericidal activity of 1-propanol, chlorhexidine digluconate (0.5 and 4%). Sterillium (45% 2-propanol, 30% 1-propanol and 0.2% mecetronium etilsulphate), Skinsept F (70% 2-propanol, 0.5% chlorhexidine digluconate and 0.45% hydrogen peroxide) and Hibisol (70% 2-propanol and 0.5% chlorhexidine gluconate) against 11 clonally distinct enterococcal isolates in a quantitative suspension test. Four isolates were vancomycin susceptible, four were vanA and the remainder vanB positive. Eight isolates were identified as Enterococcus faecium, two as Enterococcus faecalis and one as Enterococcus gallinarum. The investigator was blinded to the species and the genotype. Four parallel experiments were carried out for each isolate, each preparation, each dilution and each reaction time. 1-Propanol (60%), Sterillium, Skinsept F and Hibisol were all highly bactericidal after 15 and 30 s against VRE and vancomycin-susceptible enterococci (VSE) with reduction factors (RF) > 6.4, even in dilution of 50% (v/v). No significant difference was observed between vanA isolates, vanB isolates and VSE. Chlorhexidine digluconate (0.5% and 4%) was found to be less bactericidal after 30, 60 and 300 sec (RF < or = 2.5). The vanB genotype isolates were found to be significantly more susceptible to chlorhexidine (0.5%) than the vanA isolates (60 sec; one-way ANOVA model; P = 0.05). After 300 sec the vanB genotype isolates were found to be significantly more susceptible to chlorhexidine (0.5%) than the other two genotype isolates (P = 0.016). The vanA isolates were found to be significantly more susceptible to chlorhexidine (4%) than the vanB isolates (300 s; P = 0.024). E. faecium was found to be less susceptible to chlorhexidine than E. faecalis at all concentrations and reaction times, but significant differences between RF were only observed at 60 sec for both chlorhexidine concentrations (P < 0.05; t-test for independent samples). Propanol is much more effective against enterococci than chlorhexidine and combination of the two may be useful in providing an immediate and long lasting effect.

PMID:
10389064
DOI:
10.1053/jhin.1998.0559
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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