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Efficacy of hospital cleaning agents and germicides against epidemic Clostridium difficile strains.

The study used in vitro methods to compare the effects of five cleaning agents and/or germicides (three containing chlorine, one containing only detergent, and one containing hydrogen peroxide) on vegetative and spore forms of Clostridium difficile ( C. difficile). A human fecal emulsion was used to mimic conditions found in situ. When used at recommended concentrations, only chlorine-based germicides inactivated spores. C. difficile epidemic strains had a greater sporulation rate than non-epidemic strains. The mean sporulation rate was 13% for strains not exposed to cleaning agent/germicide, and was significantly increased by exposure to cleaning agents or germicides containing detergent alone (34%), combined detergent and hypochlorite (24%), or hydrogen peroxide (33%). By contrast, the sporulation rate did not change substantially after exposure to germicides containing either both combined detergent and dichloroisocyanurate (9%) or dichloroisocyanurate alone (15%). Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 2007;28.

Author: Fawley WN, Underwood S, Jane Freeman J, Baines SD, Saxton K, Stephenson K, Owens RC, Jr, Wilcox MH

Published: 01/08/2007

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology