Study: Common detergent is no longer powerful enough to kill deadly germs
It’s not good news.
New research shows that some of the most commonly used hospital cleaners are completely ineffective at eliminating deadly bacteria that typically cause illness in medical settings, according to the University of Plymouth.
High concentrations of bleach and chlorine chemicals are as effective as water when it comes to killing the life-threatening Clostridioides difficile (C. diff), a germ that causes colitis and diarrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers also pointed out that the use of strong chemicals to kill bacteria, known as biocides, makes them ineffective on disease carriers, as a significant rise in antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been observed around the world.
Research conducted in July found that antimicrobial resistance is one of the top ten global public health threats that humanity also faces.
“As cases of antimicrobial resistance increase, so does the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant germs to human health,” said Dr. Tina Joshi, lead author of the study, now published in the journal Microbiology.
“It demonstrates that we need disinfectants and guidelines that are fit for purpose and work in line with bacterial evolution, and the research should have a significant impact on current disinfection protocols in the medical field globally.”
Joshi and her team also found that three separate C. difficile spores were able to easily survive using personal protective equipment and clothing common in hospitals such as surgical scrubs and patient gowns.
“Understanding how these germs and disinfectants interact is an integral part of the practical management of C. difficile infection and reducing the burden of infection in healthcare settings,” she added.
“With antimicrobial resistance on the rise globally, the need to find these answers – whether for C. diff or other superbugs – is more urgent than ever.”