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Germ Genie kills keyboard germs -- even C. difficile, scientists find

Date:
May 3, 2011
Source:
University of Hertfordshire
Summary:
Scientists who proved the effectiveness of Germ Genie, a tool to prevent infections from keyboards, have now found that it can kill C. difficile.

Germ Genie.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Hertfordshire

Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire, who proved the effectiveness of Germ Genie, a tool to prevent infections from keyboards, have now found that it can kill C. difficile.

C. difficule (Clostridium difficile) is a bacterium found in the environment, but it is most common in hospitals and areas where symptomatic patients have been present.

C. difficile infection is often hospital-acquired and is more common than infections caused by MRSA.

Germ Genie which was developed by Falcon Innovations and tested at the University of Hertfordshire's Biodet laboratory was launched in October 2010 at which point the results of the University of Hertfordshire's tests on E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtillis, revealed that it kills ninety-nine percent of germs across most of the keyboard in just two minutes, and across the whole keyboard in ten minutes.

Scientists at the University of Hertfordshire have now shown that Germ Genie is also effective against one of the main bacteria that causes problems in UK hospitals; the most recent work has now demonstrated its effectiveness against C. difficile. The bug is particularly difficult to combat in a healthcare setting because alcohol based hand rubs commonly found in hospitals are ineffective against it.

While it does take longer for the revolutionary Germ Genie to kill C. difficile than to kill the other bacteria tested, the innovative design of the product means that it does provide a hostile environment, which significantly reduces the level of bacteria on computer keyboards.

The Genie works by sensing finger movement on the computer keyboard, and after the user has finished it sanitises the keyboard with UV light. This treatment leaves the keyboard ready for the next user so they will not pick up microbes that would otherwise have posed a risk of passing on infections like flu, MRSA and E. coli. Unlike other solutions, it will sanitise the keyboard many times each day, at exactly the times it is needed -- after each user.

Richard Smith, Director of Biodet said: "We were delighted to be able to continue the research related to the Germ Genie. As a business facing laboratory we appreciate the importance of the studies being compatible with the requirements of the end-user. To be an effective tool in infection control, the Germ Genie must be able to treat a range of super-bugs, including C. diff."

James Louttit, Managing Director of Falcon Innovations said "We are once again very pleased with the work of the team at the University of Hertfordshire. Many of our customers asked us about Germ Genie's effectiveness against C. difficile, and it is great to be able to show them results which demonstrate a hostile environment to this superbug. Cleanliness of high touch surfaces is an important part of an overall approach to infection control. Computer keyboards are often seen as difficult to clean, and may be left for many days without being washed. Germ Genie does the job automatically up to 30 times per day for a fraction of the cost of manual cleaning."

For more information, see: http://www.falconinnovations.co.uk/prods/more_detail/8


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Hertfordshire. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Hertfordshire. "Germ Genie kills keyboard germs -- even C. difficile, scientists find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503081157.htm>.
University of Hertfordshire. (2011, May 3). Germ Genie kills keyboard germs -- even C. difficile, scientists find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503081157.htm
University of Hertfordshire. "Germ Genie kills keyboard germs -- even C. difficile, scientists find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110503081157.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

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