Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 per cent, experts say

Date:
September 15, 2011
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Medical researchers have presented research into the mechanism by which copper exerts its antimicrobial effect on antibiotic-resistant organisms.

Professor Bill Keevil, Head of the Microbiology Group and Director of the Environmental Healthcare Unit at the University of Southampton, has presented research into the mechanism by which copper exerts its antimicrobial effect on antibiotic-resistant organisms at the World Health Organization's first International Conference on Prevention and Infection Control (ICPIC).

'New Insights into the Antimicrobial Mechanisms of Copper Touch Surfaces' observes the survival of pathogens on conventional hospital touch surfaces contributes to increasing incidence and spread of antibiotic resistance and infections. Keevil proposes antimicrobial copper surfaces as one way to address this, since they achieve a rapid kill of significant bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens.

He reported studies on dry surfaces with a range of pathogens, concluding that: "Copper's rapid destruction of pathogens could prevent mutational resistance developing and also help reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance genes to receptive and potentially more virulent organisms, as well as genes responsible for virulence. Additionally, copper touch surfaces could have a key role in preventing the transmission of healthcare-associated infections. Extensive laboratory tests have demonstrated copper's antimicrobial efficacy against key organisms responsible for these infections, and clinical trials around the world are now reporting on its efficacy in busy, real-world environments."

The latest trial -- conducted in intensive care units at three facilities in the United States -- has shown that the use of antimicrobial copper surfaces in intensive care unit rooms resulted in a 40.4% reduction in the risk of acquiring a hospital infection.

The study, funded by the US Department of Defense, was designed to determine the efficacy of antimicrobial copper in reducing the level of pathogens in hospital rooms, and whether such a reduction would translate into a lower rate of infection.

Researchers at the three hospitals involved in the trial -- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, both in Charleston, South Carolina -- replaced commonly-touched items such as bed rails, overbed tray tables, nurse call buttons and IV poles with antimicrobial copper versions.

Data presented today by trial leader Dr Michael Schmidt, Professor and Vice Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at MUSC, at ICPIC, demonstrated a 97% reduction in surface pathogens in rooms with copper surfaces, the same level achieved by "terminal" cleaning: the regimen conducted after each patient vacates a room.

Dr Schmidt said of the results: "Bacteria present on ICU room surfaces are probably responsible for 35-80% of patient infections, demonstrating how critical it is to keep hospitals clean. The copper objects used in the clinical trial supplemented cleaning protocols, lowered microbial levels, and resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the number of infections contracted by patients treated in those rooms."


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 per cent, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701132250.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2011, September 15). Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 per cent, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701132250.htm
University of Southampton. "Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 per cent, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110701132250.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins