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J Hosp Infect. 2003 Nov;55(3):226-31.

Validity of the four European test strains of prEN 12054 for the determination of comprehensive bactericidal activity of an alcohol-based hand rub.

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Bode Chemie GmbH and Co., Scientific Affairs, Melanchthonstr. 27, 22525, Hamburg, Germany.


A comprehensive bactericidal activity of an alcohol-based hand rub is essential for prevention of cross-transmission by the hands of healthcare workers. In Europe, however, only four test organisms are used to determine bactericidal activity according to prEN 12054. The susceptibility of the various bacterial species against the commonly used alcohols is thought to be similar, but so far this has never been studied. We therefore evaluated the bactericidal activity of an alcohol-based hand rub (Sterillium) within 30 s in compliance with prEN 12054 and in a time kill test against 13 Gram-positive, 18 Gram-negative bacteria and 14 antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. Each strain was evaluated in quadruplicate. Counts of the four test bacteria of prEN 12054 were reduced by factors exceeding 10(5) within 30 s. In the time kill test, all 13 Gram-positive and all 18 Gram-negative bacteria were reduced more than 10(5)-fold within 30 s, not only against the ATCC test strains but also against corresponding clinical isolates. Comparable reductions were also observed against all 14 emerging bacterial pathogens. The four European test bacteria were found to be sufficient to determine a comprehensive bactericidal activity of a propanol-based hand rub.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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