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Appl Microbiol. 1961 Nov;9:508-10.

Studies on disinfection of clinical thermometers. II. Oral thermometers from a tuberculosis sanatorium.


A study was made of the chemical disinfection of oral thermometers used by patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis. Only 10% of these thermometers were found to be contaminated with acid-fast bacilli. Because of this small number, the use of a phenol coefficient type test with Mycobacterium tuberculosis was suggested as an alternative method for evaluating tuberculocidal activity. These data, in conjunction with data from Part I of these studies dealing with disinfection of oral thermometers from a general hospital, were the criteria used to judge the efficacy of the disinfectants. It was concluded that 70% ethyl alcohol, 2% phenolic no. 1, and 3% phenolic no. 3 were reliable disinfectants for thermometers. Fifty per cent ethyl alcohol, 2% phenolic no. 2, 2% iodophor (300 ppm available iodine), and 0.1% benzalkonium chloride, aqueous or tincture, were unreliable.

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