Evaluation of disinfecting procedures for aseptic transfer in hospital pharmacy departments

Manita Mehmi, Lindsay J. Marshall, Peter A. Lambert, Julian C. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current practice in National Health Service (NHS) hospitals employs 70% Industrial Methylated Spirit spray for surface disinfection of components required in Grade A pharmaceutical environments. This study seeks to investigate other agents and procedures that may provide more effective sanitisation. Several methods are available to test the efficacy of disinfectants against vegetative organisms. However, no methods currently available test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores on the hard surfaces encountered in the pharmacy aseptic processing environment. Therefore, a method has been developed to test the efficacy of disinfectants against spores, modified from British Standard 13697 and Association of Analytical Chemists standards. The testing procedure was used to evaluate alternative biocides and disinfection methods for transferring components into hospital pharmacy cleanrooms, and to determine which combinations of biocide and application method have the greatest efficacy against spores of Bacillus subtilis subspecies subtilis 168, Bacillus subtilis American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) 6633, and Bacillus pumilis ATCC 27142. Stainless steel carrier test plates were used to represent the hard surfaces in hospital pharmacy cleanrooms. Plates were inoculated with 10(7)-10(8) colony-forming units per milliliter (CFU/mL) and treated with the various biocide formulations, using different disinfection methods. Sporicidal activity was calculated as log reduction in CFU. Of the biocides tested, 6% hydrogen peroxide and a quaternary ammonium compound/chlorine dioxide combination were most effective compared to a Quat/biguanide, amphoteric surfactant, 70% v/v ethanol in deionised water and isopropyl alcohol in water for injection. Of the different application methods tested, spraying followed by wiping was the most effective, followed closely by wiping alone. Spraying alone was least effective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalPDA Journal of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • bacillus subtilis
  • disinfectants
  • disinfection
  • drug compounding
  • hospital pharmacy services
  • bacterial spores


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