COVID-19 Disinfectants: Continuously Active Surface Antimicrobial Coating Disinfectants Effective To Prevent COVID-19 Spread
: According to a recent research study by University of Arizona,in the fight to slow or prevent the transmission of viruses, such as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, continuously active disinfectants could provide a new line of effective defense. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.10.20097329v1
Although disinfecting high-contact surfaces is an important practice to prevent the spread of pathogens, these surfaces can be easily re-contaminated after the use of conventional surface disinfectants. Alternatively, continuously active disinfectants work to actively kill microorganisms and provide continued protection over an extended period of time.
Dr Luisa Ikner, Associate Research Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and lead author of the study told Thailand Medical News, "During the course of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, aerosols released during sneezing and coughing contain infectious viruses that will eventually settle onto various surfaces. Factors including temperature, humidity and surface type can affect how long viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 will remain infectious after surface deposition."
Dr Charles Gerba, a microbiologist and Professor of environmental science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences added, "The only tools we have currently in reducing the environmental spread of viruses via surfaces are hand sanitizer, hand washing and the disinfection of surfaces. This technology creates a new barrier in controlling the spread of viruses in indoor environments."
Dr Gerba and his team designed and conducted the study which was funded by Allied BioScience, a company that manufactures antimicrobial surface coatings to evaluate continuously active antimicrobial technology and its potential use against the transmission of viruses.
Dr Gerba added, "We evaluated this technology by testing a modified antimicrobial coating against the human coronavirus 229E, which is one of the viruses that cause the common cold. Even two weeks after the coating was applied, it was capable of killing more than 99.9% of the coronaviruses within two hours."
It is a well-known fact that human coronavirus 229E is similar in structure and genetics to SARS-CoV-2 but causes only mild respiratory symptoms. It can therefore be safely used as a model for SARS-CoV-2 to evaluate antiviral chemistries. The results from these experiments may provide new opportunities for controlling the environmental transmission of COVID-19.
Dr Ikner added, "The standard practice of surface disinfection using liquid-based chemistries according to product label instructions can render many viruses including the coronaviruses noninfectious. In contrast, high-touch surfaces treated with continuously active disinfectants are hostile environments to infectious viruses upon contact and demonstrate increasing effectiveness over time."
The concept of continuously active disinfectant technology has been around for almost a decade but has been focused primarily on controlling hospital-acquired bacterial infections, such as invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
The researchers from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University Of Arizona, also investigated the impact of antimicrobial surface coatings in reducing health care-associated infections in two urban hospitals.
The research findings of that study were published in October and found a 36% reduction in hospital-acquired infections with the use of a continually active antimicrobial. https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciz1077/5610270
Dr Gerba added, "As communities are reopening after weeks of stay-at-home restrictions, there is significant interest in minimizing surface contamination and the indirect spread of viruses."
Past research on the environmental spread of viruses through contaminated surfaces modeled the spread of germs and the risk of infection in an office workplace. In that study, a contaminated push-plate door at the entrance of an office building led to the contamination of 51% of commonly touched surfaces and 38% of office workers' hands within just four hours. With the use of disinfecting wipes, environmental contamination was reduced to 5% of surfaces and 11% of workers' hands.
Dr Gerba added, "Antimicrobial coatings could provide an additional means of protection, reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronaviruses in indoor environments and public places where there is continuous contamination. We are evaluating a number of products right now and believe it may be the next major breakthrough in environmental infection control."
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