In laboratory tests, BioCote® antimicrobial materials regularly demonstrate reductions in counts of E. coli and S.aureus greater than 95%, compared with untreated samples.
The aim of this study was to determine to what degree this high level of antimicrobial efficacy could be achieved in a real-life hospital environment.
Two outpatient units provided the environments for this 18 month pilot study. Unit A was refurbished with BioCote®-treated products including blinds, tiles, door handles, sack holders and light switches and also a number of untreated products. A similar, refurbished outpatient ward containing untreated items (unit B), served as a control. Both outpatient units were similar in terms of volume of people, layout and floor-surface area and were subjected to standard cleaning practice. Both were allowed to function for 12 months before swabbing commenced.
Swabs were collected over a five month period from BioCote®-treated and untreated products in both outpatient units. Swabs were processed for total counts of viable bacteria and results expressed as average counts of colony-forming units (CFUs).
CFU counts from BioCote®-treated products in unit A were between 62% and 98% lower than from comparable, untreated products in unit B.
The products used in the trial were manufactured from a variety of materials e.g plastics and fabrics. CFU counts from these different materials were also compared. CFU counts from BioCote®-treated materials were between 70% (fabrics) to 99% (laminates) lower than untreated equivalents.
CFU counts from BioCote®-treated products in unit A were compared with CFU counts from untreated products in both unit A and unit B. CFU counts on untreated products in unit A were also compared to untreated products in unit B.
This three way comparison provides the following results: the average CFU count from any BioCote® treated product was 95.8% lower than that from any untreated product in unit B the average CFU count from any BioCote® treated product was 92.6% lower than that from any untreated product in the same environment (unit A) the average CFU count from any untreated product in unit A was 43.5% lower than that from any untreated product in unit B.