Antimicrobial efficacy of copper surfaces against spores and vegetative cells of Clostridium difficile: the germination theory

L.J. Wheeldon, Tony Worthington, Peter A Lambert, Anthony Hilton, C.J. Lowden, Tom S.J. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Persistent contamination of surfaces by spores of Clostridium difficile is a major factor influencing the spread of C. difficile-associated diarrhoea (CDAD) in the clinical setting. In recent years, the antimicrobial efficacy of metal surfaces has been investigated against microorganisms including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This study compared the survival of C. difficile on stainless steel, a metal contact surface widely used in hospitals, and copper surfaces. METHODS: Antimicrobial efficacy was assessed using a carrier test method against dormant spores, germinating spores and vegetative cells of C. difficile (NCTC 11204 and ribotype 027) over a 3 h period in the presence and absence of organic matter. RESULTS: Copper metal eliminated all vegetative cells of C. difficile within 30 min, compared with stainless steel which demonstrated no antimicrobial activity (P < 0.05). Copper significantly reduced the viability of spores of C. difficile exposed to the germinant (sodium taurocholate) in aerobic conditions within 60 min (P < 0.05) while achieving a >or=2.5 log reduction (99.8% reduction) at 3 h. Organic material did not reduce the antimicrobial efficacy of the copper surface (P > 0.05).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-525
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008

Bibliographical note

18th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Barcelona (ES), 19-22 April 2008.

Keywords

  • nosocomial infection
  • susceptibility
  • time-kill
  • germinant

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