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Published on 20 January 2010

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Disinfectant ‘fights bacteria fast’

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A new fast-acting disinfectant is effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and prions, all of which are connected with deadly hospital infections.

Researchers in Berlin, Germany, have developed the inexpensive disinfectant to treat surgical instruments. The substance works against a wide range of bacteria, including those that cause tuberculosis and polio, researchers at the Robert Koch Institute found.

In previous studies, scientists identified the formulation as effective at eradicating prions from the surfaces of surgical instruments. Prions are misfolded proteins which are linked to mad-cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

Now, investigators have mixed the new formula with varying amounts of alcohol and tested its ability to rid surgical instruments of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Prion expert and leader of the new research Michael Beekes, PhD, said that eliminating a broad range of pathogens with one formula is not easy due to resistance.

“Some micro-organisms such as mycobacteria, poliovirus, fungal spores and, not least, prions are particularly resistant to inactivation,” said Dr Beekes.

Copyright Press Association 2010
The Hospital Infection Society



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