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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1992 Sep;58(9):3157-62.

Metal-based formulations with high microbicidal activity.

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Molecular Biology Branch, Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Maryland 20857.


Substances were evaluated for their relative potencies in inactivating Junin virus, Escherichia coli, and spores of Bacillus subtilis. Under the conditions of our test, glutaraldehyde was the most efficient agent among all substances currently recommended for disinfecting and sterilizing medical devices. Either copper or iron ions by themselves were able to inactivate virus with an efficiency similar to that of substances currently used for disinfection and sterilization. The microbicidal effect of metals, however, was enhanced further by the addition of peroxide. The mixtures of copper and peroxide described here were more efficient than glutaraldehyde in inactivating viruses and bacteria. The addition of a metal chelator to metal-peroxide mixtures further increased the microbicidal potency of the reagent. The formulations described in this study should be harmless to people but able to quickly and efficiently inactivate microorganisms, particularly viruses.

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