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The World Health Organization has called for the development of improved methodologies to evaluate alcohol-based handrub (ABHR) efficacy, including evaluation at “short application times and volumes that reflect actual use in healthcare facilities." The objective of this study by Suchomel, et al. (2018) was to investigate variables influencing ABHR efficacy, under test conditions reflective of clinical use.
The test product (60% V/V 2-propanol) was evaluated according to a modified EN 1500 methodology, where application volumes of 1 mL, 2 mL, and 3 mL were rubbed until dry. Statistical analyses were performed to investigate the relative influences of product volume, hand size, and product dry-time on efficacy, and hand size and hand contamination on product dry-time.
Mean log10 reduction factors (SD) were 1.99 (0.66), 2.96 (0.84) and 3.28 (0.96); and mean dry-times (SD) were 24 s (7 s), 50 s (14 s), and 67 s (20 s) at application volumes of 1 mL, 2 mL, and 3 mL, respectively (p ≤ 0.030). When data were examined at the individual volunteer level, there was a statistically significant correlation between dry-time and log reduction factor (p < 0.0001), independent of application volume. There was also a statistically significant correlation between hand surface area and dry-times (p = 0.047), but no correlation between hand surface area and efficacy (p = 0.698).
The researchers conclude that when keeping other variables such as alcohol type and concentration constant, product dry-time appears to be the primary driver of ABHR efficacy suggesting that dosing should be customized to each individual and focus on achieving a product dry-time delivering adequate efficacy.
Reference: Suchomel M, et al. How long is enough? Identification of product dry-time as a primary driver of alcohol-based hand rub efficacy. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control. 2018;7:65