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Consumer antibacterial soaps: effective or just risky?

This systematic literature review assessed studies that examined the efficacy of products containing triclosan, compared with that of plain soap, in the community setting, and evaluated findings of studies carried out to evaluate the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria associated with their use. The PubMed database was searched, using relevant keyword combinations, for articles published between 1980 and 2006; 27 studies were identified as being relevant to the review. Soaps containing triclosan within the range of concentrations commonly used in the community setting (0.1%-0.45% wt/vol) were no more effective than plain soap at preventing infectious illness symptoms and reducing bacterial levels on the hands. The authors concluded that several laboratory studies demonstrated evidence of triclosan-adapted cross resistance to antibiotics. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2007:45(suppl 2):S137-47.

Author: Aiello AE, Larson EL, Levy SB

Published: 01/01/2007

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Clinical Infectious Diseases