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Alternative Hand Contamination Technique To Compare the Activities of Antimicrobial and Nonantimicrobial Soaps under Different Test Conditions▿

By Janice L. Fuls, Nancy D. Rodgers, George E. Fischler, Jeanne M. Howard, Monica Patel, Patrick L. Weidner and Melani H. Duran


Antimicrobial hand soaps provide a greater bacterial reduction than nonantimicrobial soaps. However, the link between greater bacterial reduction and a reduction of disease has not been definitively demonstrated. Confounding factors, such as compliance, soap volume, and wash time, may all influence the outcomes of studies. The aim of this work was to examine the effects of wash time and soap volume on the relative activities and the subsequent transfer of bacteria to inanimate objects for antimicrobial and nonantimicrobial soaps. Increasing the wash time from 15 to 30 seconds increased reduction of Shigella flexneri from 2.90 to 3.33 log10 counts (P = 0.086) for the antimicrobial soap, while nonantimicrobial soap achieved reductions of 1.72 and 1.67 log10 counts (P > 0.6). Increasing soap volume increased bacterial reductions for both the antimicrobial and the nonantimicrobial soaps. When the soap volume was normalized based on weight (∼3 g), nonantimicrobial soap reduced Serratia marcescens by 1.08 log10 counts, compared to the 3.83-log10 reduction caused by the antimicrobial soap (P < 0.001). The transfer of Escherichia coli to plastic balls following a 15-second hand wash with antimicrobial soap resulted in a bacterial recovery of 2.49 log10 counts, compared to the 4.22-log10 (P < 0.001) bacterial recovery on balls handled by hands washed with nonantimicrobial soap. This indicates that nonantimicrobial soap was less active and that the effectiveness of antimicrobial soaps can be improved with longer wash time and greater soap volume. The transfer of bacteria to objects was significantly reduced due to greater reduction in bacteria following the use of antimicrobial soap

Topics: Public Health Microbiology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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