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Am J Infect Control. 1999 Aug;27(4):327-31.

Effectiveness of hand-cleansing agents for removing Acinetobacter baumannii strain from contaminated hands.

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Department of Clinical Analyses, Laboratory of Microbiology, State University of Maringá, Paraná, Brazil.



The effectiveness of hand-cleansing agents (plain liquid soap, 70% ethyl alcohol, 10% povidone-iodine, and 4% chlorhexidine gluconate) for removing a hospital strain of Acinetobacter baumannii from artificially contaminated hands of 5 volunteers was studied.


The experiments were performed by using a Latin square statistical design, with two 5 x 4 randomized blocks, and the results were estimated by ANOVA. In the first and second blocks, the fingertips of the volunteers were contaminated with approximately 10(3) colony-forming units (light contamination hand) and 10(6) colony-forming units (heavy contamination hand), respectively.


In the first block, all products tested were effective, almost completely removing the microbial population of A baumannii artificially applied to the hands. In the second block, the use of hand-cleansing agents resulted in 91.36% (4% chlorhexidine), 92.33% (liquid soap), 98.49% (10% povidone-iodine), and 98.93% (70% ethyl alcohol) reduction in counts of A baumannii cells applied to the fingertips. The ethyl alcohol and povidone-iodine had significantly higher removal rates than plain soap and chlorhexidine (P <.05).


These results suggest that 70% ethyl alcohol and 10% povidone-iodine may be the most effective hand-cleansing agents for removing A baumannii strain from heavily contaminated hands (10(6) colony-forming units/fingertip).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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