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Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 percent
Date:7/1/2011

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 o
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Contact: Glenn Harris
g.harris@soton.ac.uk
44-238-059-3212
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert  

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Copper reduces infection risk by more than 40 percent
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