Evaluation of the efficacy of electrochemically activated solutions against nosocomial pathogens and bacterial endospores
Robinson, G. M., Lee, S., Greenman, J., Salisbury, V. and Reynolds, D. M. (2010) Evaluation of the efficacy of electrochemically activated solutions against nosocomial pathogens and bacterial endospores. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 50 (3). pp. 289-294. ISSN 0266-8254
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2009.02790.x
Aims: Electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS) are generated from halide salt solutions via specially designed electrolytic cells. The active solutions are known to possess high biocidal activity against a wide range of target microbial species, however, literature revealing the kill-kinetics of these solutions is limited. The aim of the study was to identify the kill-rate and extent of population kill for a range of target species (including endospores) using ECAS generated at the anode (anolyte). Methods and Results: Standard suspensions of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus atrophaeus spores and Clostridium difficile spores were treated with anolyte in a quantitative suspension assay. For vegetative cells, all concentrations of anolyte tested reduced the viable population to below the detection limit within 10 s. At a concentration of 99%, anolyte produced a log10 reduction factor of greater than five in viable B. atrophaeus endospores within 90 s and reduced numbers of C. difficile endospores to below the experimental detection limit within 20 s at concentrations of 5% or greater. Conclusions: Anolyte was highly effective in killing test-bacteria and spores. The bactericidal efficacy was retained against vegetative cells at dilutions as low as 1% and against C. difficile spores as low as 5%. Significance and Impact of Study: The results of this study demonstrate that ECAS are effective at lower concentrations and act more rapidly than previously reported. Potent bactericidal and sporicidal activity coupled with pointof- use generation, low production-costs and environmental compatibility suggest that acidic ECAS has the potential to be a useful addition to the current armoury of disinfectants.
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