Antimicrobial efficacy and compatibility of solid copper alloys with chemical disinfectants.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION:Chemical disinfection is state of the art in preventing spread of infectious agents in the healthcare setting. Additionally, the antimicrobial properties of solid copper alloy surfaces against various microorganisms have recently been substantiated. Thus, antimicrobially active copper surfaces may serve as an additional barrier against distribution of pathogenic microorganisms and be combined with chemical disinfection measures in the hospital. The aim of this study was therefore to investigate on a quantitative basis whether the combination of chemical disinfectants with copper alloy surfaces results in an overall compromised, combined or even synergistic antimicrobial efficacy. METHODS:Experiments were carried out using the quantitative carrier test devised by the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) to study antimicrobial efficacy of chemical disinfectants. Requirements for microbicidal efficacy as defined by prEN 14885 were applied. The chemical disinfectants tested in our study contained alcohols (ethanol, 1-propanol), quaternary ammonium compounds (benzalkonium chloride) and glutaraldehyde as actives. Quantitative carrier tests were carried out on different carriers (tiles, copper alloy discs, stainless steel discs) using Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Kocuria rhizophila and Candida albicans as test organisms. RESULTS:For the alcohol-based disinfectant no difference in antimicrobial efficacy was observed when applied to antimicrobial active copper alloy carriers, tiles or stainless steel discs. For all test organisms microbial contamination was reduced to the detection limit of < 1 log (CFU/ml) within a contact time of 2 min indicating a ? 5 log reduction for the tested bacteria and a ? 4 log reduction for the yeast, as being requested for chemical disinfectants by prEN 14885. In order to elucidate a potential synergism the chemical disinfectant based on quaternary ammonium compounds (benzalkonium chloride) and glutaraldehyde was used at a sub-effective concentration. Hence, no complete reduction of microbial contamination was achieved on stainless steel or tile carriers for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Candida albicans. Interestingly, when using copper alloy carriers complete reduction indicating a ? 5 log reduction for P. aeruginosa and a ? 4 log reduction for C. albicans was detected. Thus, data of this study indicates that solid copper alloy surfaces and disinfectants synergize. CONCLUSIONS:According to this data, commercially available disinfectants based on alcohol, quaternary ammonium compounds and aldehyde can effectively be combined in a dual strategy with solid copper alloy surfaces to reduce microbial contamination.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is largely responsible for increasing the incidence of antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. While studies have focused on HGT in vivo, this work investigates whether the ability of pathogens to persist in the environment, particularly on touch surfaces, may also play an important role. Escherichia coli, virulent clone ST131, and Klebsiella pneumoniae harboring extended-spectrum-?-lactamase (ESBL) bla(CTX-M-15) and metallo-?-lactamase bla(NDM-1), respectively, exhibited prolonged survival on stainless steel, with approximately 10(4) viable cells remaining from an inoculum of 10(7) CFU per cm(2) after 1 month at 21°C. HGT of bla to an antibiotic-sensitive but azide-resistant recipient E. coli strain occurred on stainless steel dry touch surfaces and in suspension but not on dry copper. The conjugation frequency was approximately 10 to 50 times greater and occurred immediately, and resulting transconjugants were more stable with ESBL E. coli as the donor cell than with K. pneumoniae, but bla(NDM-1) transfer increased with time. Transconjugants also exhibited the same resistance profile as the donor, suggesting multiple gene transfer. Rapid death, inhibition of respiration, and destruction of genomic and plasmid DNA of both pathogens occurred on copper alloys accompanied by a reduction in bla copy number. Naked E. coli DNA degraded on copper at 21°C and 37°C but slowly at 4°C, suggesting a direct role for the metal. Persistence of viable pathogenic bacteria on touch surfaces may not only increase the risk of infection transmission but may also contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance by HGT. The use of copper alloys as antimicrobial touch surfaces may help reduce infection and HGT. IMPORTANCE:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) conferring resistance to many classes of antimicrobials has resulted in a worldwide epidemic of nosocomial and community infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms, leading to suggestions that we are in effect returning to the preantibiotic era. While studies have focused on HGT in vivo, this work investigates whether the ability of pathogens to persist in the environment, particularly on touch surfaces, may also play an important role. Here we show prolonged (several-week) survival of multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae on stainless steel surfaces. Plasmid-mediated HGT of ?-lactamase genes to an azide-resistant recipient E. coli strain occurred when the donor and recipient cells were mixed together on stainless steel and in suspension but not on copper surfaces. In addition, rapid death of both antibiotic-resistant strains and destruction of plasmid and genomic DNA were observed on copper and copper alloy surfaces, which could be useful in the prevention of infection spread and gene transfer.
Project description:Noroviruses (family Caliciviridae) are the primary cause of viral gastroenteritis worldwide. The virus is highly infectious and touching contaminated surfaces can contribute to infection spread. Although the virus was identified over 40 years ago the lack of methods to assess infectivity has hampered the study of the human pathogen. Recently the murine virus, MNV-1, has successfully been used as a close surrogate. Copper alloys have previously been shown to be effective antimicrobial surfaces against a range of bacteria and fungi. We now report rapid inactivation of murine norovirus on alloys, containing over 60% copper, at room temperature but no reduction of infectivity on stainless steel dry surfaces in simulated wet fomite and dry touch contamination. The rate of inactivation was initially very rapid and proportional to copper content of alloy tested. Viral inactivation was not as rapid on brass as previously observed for bacteria but copper-nickel alloy was very effective. The use of chelators and quenchers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) determined that Cu(II) and especially Cu(I) ions are still the primary effectors of toxicity but quenching superoxide and hydroxyl radicals did not confer protection. This suggests Fenton generation of ROS is not important for the inactivation mechanism. One of the targets of copper toxicity was the viral genome and a reduced copy number of the gene for a viral encoded protein, VPg (viral-protein-genome-linked), which is essential for infectivity, was observed following contact with copper and brass dry surfaces. The use of antimicrobial surfaces containing copper in high risk closed environments such as cruise ships and care facilities could help to reduce the spread of this highly infectious and costly pathogen.
Project description:The species of the Bacillus cereus group have the ability to adhere to and form biofilms on solid surfaces, including stainless steel, a material widely used in food industries. Biofilms allow for recontamination during food processing, and the "clean-in-place" (CIP) system is largely used by industries to control them. This study thus proposes to evaluate the efficacy of peracetic acid and sodium hypochlorite against biofilms induced on stainless-steel surfaces. The SAMN07414939 isolate (BioProject PRJNA390851), a recognized biofilm producer, was selected for biofilm induction on AISI 304 stainless steel. Biofilm induction was performed and classified into three categories: TCP (Tindalized, Contaminated, and Pasteurized milk), TCS (Tindalized milk Contaminated with Spores), and TCV (Tindalized milk Contaminated with Vegetative cells). Subsequently, the coupons were sanitized simulating a CIP procedure, on a pilot scale, using alkaline and acid solutions followed by disinfectants (peracetic acid and sodium hypochlorite). Microorganism adhesion on the surfaces reached 6.3 × 105 to 3.1 × 107 CFU/cm-2. Results did not show significant differences (p > 0.05) for surface adhesion between the three tested categories (TCP, TCS, and TCV) or (p > 0.05) between the two disinfectants (peracetic acid and sodium hypochlorite). Microbial populations adhered to the stainless-steel coupons are equally reduced after treatment with peracetic acid and sodium hypochlorite, with no differences in the control of B. cereus s.s. biofilms on AISI 304 stainless-steel surfaces.
Project description:Human norovirus (HuNoV) represents a significant public health burden worldwide and can be environmentally transmitted. Copper surfaces have been shown to inactivate the cultivable surrogate murine norovirus, but no such data exist for HuNoV. The purpose of this study was to characterize the destruction of GII.4 HuNoV and virus-like particles (VLPs) during exposure to copper alloy surfaces. Fecal suspensions positive for a GII.4 HuNoV outbreak strain or GII.4 VLPs were exposed to copper alloys or stainless steel for 0 to 240 min and recovered by elution. HuNoV genome integrity was assessed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) (without RNase treatment), and capsid integrity was assessed by RT-qPCR (with RNase treatment), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), SDS-PAGE/Western blot analysis, and a histo-blood group antigen (HBGA) binding assay. Exposure of fecal suspensions to pure copper for 60 min reduced the GII.4 HuNoV RNA copy number by ?3 log10 units when analyzed by RT-qPCR without RNase treatment and by 4 log10 units when a prior RNase treatment was used. The rate of reduction of the HuNoV RNA copy number was approximately proportional to the percentage of copper in each alloy. Exposure of GII.4 HuNoV VLPs to pure-copper surfaces resulted in noticeable aggregation and destruction within 240 min, an 80% reduction in the VP1 major capsid protein band intensity in 15 min, and a near-complete loss of HBGA receptor binding within 8 min. In all experiments, HuNoV remained stable on stainless steel. These results suggest that copper surfaces destroy HuNoV and may be useful in preventing environmental transmission of the virus in at-risk settings.
Project description:Certain 3D printed metals and surface finishes may be better suited for canine patient specific orthopedic implants on the basis of minimizing potential bacterial biofilm growth. Thirty disks each of titanium alloy, stainless steel, and cobalt chromium alloy were 3D printed via laser powder bed fusion. Fifteen disks of each metal were subsequently polished. After incubation with a robust biofilm-forming methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius isolate, disks were rinsed and sonicated to collect biofilm bacteria. Serial dilutions were plated on blood agar, and colony forming units were counted log (ln) transformed for analysis of variance. Interference microscopy quantified surface roughness for comparison to biofilm growth. Scanning electron microscopy on both pre- and post-sonicated disks confirmed biofilm presence and subsequent removal, and visualized surface features on cleaned disks. Significantly more bacteria grew on rough versus polished metal preparations (p < 0.0001). Titanium alloy had more bacterial biofilm growth compared to cobalt chromium alloy (p = 0.0001) and stainless steel (p < 0.0001). There were no significant growth differences between cobalt chromium alloy and stainless steel (p = 0.4737). Relationships between biofilm growth and surface roughness varied: positive with the rough preparations and negative with the smooth. Polished preparations had increased variance in surface roughness compared to rough preparations, and within disk variance predominated over between disk variance for all preparations with the exception of rough cobalt chromium alloy and rough stainless steel. Using scanning electron microscopy, bacterial biofilms tended to form in crevices. Overall, manual polishing of 3D printed surfaces significantly reduced biofilm growth, with preparation-specific relationships between surface roughness and biofilm growth. These results suggest that metallic implants produced by laser powder bed fusion should be polished. Further research will elucidate the optimal surface roughness per preparation to reduce potential biofilm formation and implant associated infection.
Project description:The contribution of environmental surface contamination with pathogenic organisms to the development of health care-associated infections (HAI) has not been well defined. The microbial burden (MB) associated with commonly touched surfaces in intensive care units (ICUs) was determined by sampling six objects in 16 rooms in ICUs in three hospitals over 43 months. At month 23, copper-alloy surfaces, with inherent antimicrobial properties, were installed onto six monitored objects in 8 of 16 rooms, and the effect that this application had on the intrinsic MB present on the six objects was assessed. Census continued in rooms with and without copper for an additional 21 months. In concert with routine infection control practices, the average MB found for the six objects assessed in the clinical environment during the preintervention phase was 28 times higher (6,985 CFU/100 cm(2); n = 3,977 objects sampled) than levels proposed as benign immediately after terminal cleaning (<250 CFU/100 cm(2)). During the intervention phase, the MB was found to be significantly lower for both the control and copper-surfaced objects. Copper was found to cause a significant (83%) reduction in the average MB found on the objects (465 CFU/100 cm(2); n = 2714 objects) compared to the controls (2,674 CFU/100 cm(2); n = 2,831 objects [P < 0.0001]). The introduction of copper surfaces to objects formerly covered with plastic, wood, stainless steel, and other materials found in the patient care environment significantly reduced the overall MB on a continuous basis, thereby providing a potentially safer environment for hospital patients, health care workers (HCWs), and visitors.
Project description:UNLABELLED:The evolution of new and reemerging historic virulent strains of respiratory viruses from animal reservoirs is a significant threat to human health. Inefficient human-to-human transmission of zoonotic strains may initially limit the spread of transmission, but an infection may be contracted by touching contaminated surfaces. Enveloped viruses are often susceptible to environmental stresses, but the human coronaviruses responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have recently caused increasing concern of contact transmission during outbreaks. We report here that pathogenic human coronavirus 229E remained infectious in a human lung cell culture model following at least 5 days of persistence on a range of common nonbiocidal surface materials, including polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon; PTFE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ceramic tiles, glass, silicone rubber, and stainless steel. We have shown previously that noroviruses are destroyed on copper alloy surfaces. In this new study, human coronavirus 229E was rapidly inactivated on a range of copper alloys (within a few minutes for simulated fingertip contamination) and Cu/Zn brasses were very effective at lower copper concentration. Exposure to copper destroyed the viral genomes and irreversibly affected virus morphology, including disintegration of envelope and dispersal of surface spikes. Cu(I) and Cu(II) moieties were responsible for the inactivation, which was enhanced by reactive oxygen species generation on alloy surfaces, resulting in even faster inactivation than was seen with nonenveloped viruses on copper. Consequently, copper alloy surfaces could be employed in communal areas and at any mass gatherings to help reduce transmission of respiratory viruses from contaminated surfaces and protect the public health. IMPORTANCE:Respiratory viruses are responsible for more deaths globally than any other infectious agent. Animal coronaviruses that "host jump" to humans result in severe infections with high mortality, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and, more recently, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). We show here that a closely related human coronavirus, 229E, which causes upper respiratory tract infection in healthy individuals and serious disease in patients with comorbidities, remained infectious on surface materials common to public and domestic areas for several days. The low infectious dose means that this is a significant infection risk to anyone touching a contaminated surface. However, rapid inactivation, irreversible destruction of viral RNA, and massive structural damage were observed in coronavirus exposed to copper and copper alloy surfaces. Incorporation of copper alloy surfaces in conjunction with effective cleaning regimens and good clinical practice could help to control transmission of respiratory coronaviruses, including MERS and SARS.
Project description:Corrosion is clearly one of the more common causes of materials failure in stainless steel. To manage corrosion, chemical inhibitors are often used for prevention and control. Ionic liquids due to their hydrophobic and corrosion-resistant property are being explored as alternative protective coatings and anti-corrosion materials. In this particular study, ionic liquids containing functionalized imidazolium cations and tris(pentafluoroethyl)trifluorophosphate (FAP) anions were investigated for their ability to inhibit corrosion on stainless steel surfaces in acidic environment. Using surface characterization techniques, specifically scanning electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), the morphology and the elemental composition of the steel surfaces before and after corrosion were determined. Contact angle measurements were also performed to determine how these ionic liquids were able to wet the stainless steel surface. In addition, potentiodynamic studies were carried out to ensure that corrosion inhibition has occurred. Results show that these ionic liquids were able to inhibit corrosion on the stainless steel surfaces. This indicates promise in the use of these FAP-based ionic liquids for corrosion management in stainless steel.
Project description:Human noroviruses are major etiologic agents of epidemic gastroenteritis. Outbreaks are often accompanied by contamination of environmental surfaces, but since these viruses cannot be routinely propagated in laboratory cultures, their response to surface disinfectants is predicted by using surrogates, such as murine norovirus 1 (MNV-1). This study compared the virucidal efficacies of various liquid treatments (three sanitizer liquids, 5% levulinic acid plus 2% SDS [LEV/SDS], 200 ppm chlorine, and an isopropanol-based quaternary ammonium compound [Alpet D2], and two control liquids, sterile tap water and sterile tap water plus 2% SDS) when delivered to MNV-1-inoculated stainless steel surfaces by conventional hydraulic or air-assisted, induction-charged (AAIC) electrostatic spraying or by wiping with impregnated towelettes. For the spray treatments, LEV/SDS proved effective when applied with hydraulic and AAIC electrostatic spraying, providing virus reductions of 2.71 and 1.66 log PFU/ml, respectively. Alpet D2 provided a 2.23-log PFU/ml reduction with hydraulic spraying, outperforming chlorine (1.16-log PFU/ml reduction). Chlorine and LEV/SDS were equally effective as wipes, reducing the viral load by 7.05 log PFU/ml. Controls reduced the viral load by <1 log with spraying applications and by >3 log PFU/ml with wiping. Results indicated that both sanitizer type and application methods should be carefully considered when choosing a surface disinfectant to best prevent and control environmental contamination by noroviruses.
Project description:Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) show higher strength and lower Young's modulus than Ti-6Al-4V alloy and SUS 316L stainless steel. This study aimed to perform in vivo evaluations of Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMGs for osteosynthesis devices. In the study for intramedullary implants, osteotomies of the femoral bones were performed in male Wistar rats and were stabilized with Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMGs, Ti-6Al-4V alloy, or 316L stainless steel intramedullary nails for 12 weeks. In the study for bone surface implants, Zr65Al7.5Ni10Cu17.5 BMGs ribbons were implanted on the femur surface for 6 weeks. Local effects on the surrounding soft tissues of the implanted BMGs were assessed by histological observation. Implanted materials' surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS). In the study for intramedullary implants, bone healing after osteotomy was assessed by peripheral quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and mechanical tests. Histological observation showed no findings of the biological effects. SEM-EDS showed no noticeable change on the surface of BMGs, while Ca and P deposition was seen on the Ti-6Al-4V alloy surface, and irregularities were seen on the 316L stainless steel surface. Mechanical test and peripheral QCT showed that, although there was no significant difference, bone healing of BMGs was more than that of Ti-6Al-4V alloy. The results indicated that Zr-based BMGs can lead to bone healing equal to or greater than Ti-6Al-4V alloy. Zr-based BMGs exhibited the advantage of less bone bonding and easier implant removal compared with Ti-6Al-4V alloy. In conclusion, Zr-based BMGs are promising for osteosynthesis devices that are eventually removed.