A new weapon against C. Difficile

“Dr Mathias Oulé, Professor of Microbiology at Université de Saint-Boniface led a team of scientists who have proven the effectiveness of Akwaton in the elimination of C. difficile spores, making it a promising tool in the fight against superbacteria in hospital settings. (CNW Group/Université de Saint-Boniface).”

A team of researchers from Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) in Manitoba has proven the effectiveness of a disinfectant that could revolutionize the fight against superbugs in the hospital system.

The study led by Mathias Oulé, Ph.D., microbiology professor at Manitoba’s Université de Saint-Boniface, shows that Akwaton tackles spore-forming bacteria, including Clostridium difficile whose heat-tolerant spores can live on surfaces for long periods of time and survive a number of years in a dry environment. The study has just been published in the UK’s prestigious Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Most of the chemical disinfectants that are currently used control or prevent the spread of bacterial spores. However, the study shows that Akwaton is able to destroy Bacillus subtilis spores suspended in water and attached to stainless steel or glass surfaces, at very dilute concentrations, after just 90 seconds’ treatment. Previous studies by the USB research team have shown that Akwaton is also effective against strains of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

Dr. Mathias Oulé explained Akwaton’s main advantages: “Most disinfectants have to be applied at much higher concentrations – typically between four and 10 per cent – which may be harmful to humans. Akwaton destroys spores at concentrations well below one per cent.” Akwaton is non-corrosive, non-irritating, non-toxic, odourless and environmentally safe. “All these properties make it an ideal disinfectant for hospitals and laboratories. It may also have great value in the food industry,” said Dr. Oulé.

“Université de Saint-Boniface is proud to be a part of the ongoing battle against superbugs, the outbreaks of which are a threat to all hospitals and health care facilities in Canada and around the globe,” said USB President Raymonde Gagné. “Dr. Oulé’s paper has already garnered a great deal of attention in Europe, and it will also undoubtedly generate considerable interest in Canada.”

The paper titled “Akwaton, Polyhexamethylene-Guanidine Hydrochloride-Based Sporicidal Disinfectant: A Novel Tool to Fight Bacterial Spores and Nosocomial Infections” was published on Aug. 8, 2012 in the scholarly Journal of Medical Microbiology.

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