FT. WORTH, Texas -- An alcohol-based, Zinc Pyrithione (ZPT)-preserved product can provide the strategic defense needed to assist in reducing the number of post-surgery biofilm infections that proliferate in hospitals across the United States, according to research findings published as an abstract and presented at the international meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) conference in Baltimore, June 19-23, 2005.
When bacteria gather and attach to damaged tissue or an inanimate surface---such as medical implants like prosthetic joint replacements or catheters--- resulting biofilm infections are from 500 to 1,500 times more resistant to standard antibiotic therapy than so-called free-floating, planktonic bacterial infections.
Fortunately for doctors, patients, and the healthcare industry, these inherently difficult-to-treat multilayered communities of bacteria are now being successfully challenged by a new, preventative topical antimicrobial protocol for biofilms, making it much harder for them to do their damage.
The preventive protocol, a technology developed and marketed by Healthpoint, Ltd., a DFB company, is represented by a group of products based on the topical antimicrobial alcohol, preserved with ZPT. Prevention is key, especially when dealing with such resistant infections.
The independent study, Surgical Preps and Biofilms, reviewed vascular catheterization, a medical procedure performed 20 million times each year in the United States to see how the alcohol-based ZPT-preserved formula can prevent the formation of biofilm infections. In the past, nearly all vascular catheterizations became infected with biofilms frequently caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis, commonly known as a staph infection.
Researchers Daryl Paulson, PhD, of BioScience Laboratories, Inc. and Lawton Seal, PhD, of Healthpoint compared the use of its alcohol-based, ZPT-preserved product, ActiPrep, against both the biofilm and planktonic forms of Staphylococcus.
"The alcohol-based, ZPT-preserved formula achieved a 50 percent reduction of the biofilm within 15 seconds and a complete kill of the biofilm-protected bacteria in two minutes or less," reports Seal. "The alcohol-based, ZPT- preserved formula achieved a complete kill of the planktonic bacteria within 15 seconds."
According to the doctors' research findings, applying an alcohol-based, ZPT-preserved topical antimicrobial to a site two minutes prior to a medical procedure will not only kill both planktonic and biofilm Staphylococcus epidermidis already present on the skin, but it will also prevent the rebound of skin colonization, which further protects the patient. Such persistent, preventative killing-power is known as cumulative effect, a major benefit of ZPT.
Source: Healthpoint Ltd.