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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2001 Nov;204(2-3):123-6.

Hand disinfection according to the European Standard EN 1500 (hygienic handrub): a study with gram-negative and gram-positive test organisms.

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Sch├╝lke & Mayr GmbH, D-22840 Norderstedt, Germany.


It was the aim of this study to compare the efficacy of alcohol-based hand disinfectants according to European Standard EN 1500 (hygienic handrub), using the routine test organism Escherichia coli and, additionally, Micrococcus luteus as a surrogate for Gram-positive pathogens. One ethanol-based hand disinfectant (product A) and one propanol-based hand disinfectant (product B) were used in all experiments. Product B (propanol-based) was significantly more effective against both test organisms than product A (ethanol-based) in quantitative suspension tests but not in tests simulating practical conditions. In the experiments according to EN 1500 germ reduction rates obtained with the ethanol-containing formulation A were identical for E. coli and M. luteus. Product B was slightly, but not significantly more effective against M. luteus. To conclude, using E. coli as the test organism for evaluating the antibacterial efficacy of alcoholic hand disinfectants under practical conditions even appears to be sufficient to permit the drawing of conclusions for Gram-positive pathogens. However, more alcohol-based hand disinfectants should be tested in further studies to verify the results obtained.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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