Latest Generation in Healthcare Personnel Handwash is Proven Effective Against Viruses

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Steve Owens, director of marketing for HEALTHPOINT Surgical, has announced that SURGICEPT Waterless Surgical Hand Antiseptic, the latest addition to the HEALTHPOINT asepsis product line for healthcare personnel handwashing, kills viruses in addition to fighting bacteria, as reported in study results presented during the 46th Inter-science Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco last weekend. Lawton Seal, PhD, and Michael Law, PhD, authored the study.

During their presentation on Sept. 30, 2006, the authors of the study, titled, Antiviral Activity of a Novel Waterless Alcohol-Based Surgical Scrub, discussed how SURGICEPT killed a variety of viral agents. The formulation includes ethyl alcohol at a concentration of 70 percent as well as a patented preservative system.

This handwash kills viruses, says Owens. In recent years, the healthcare community has responded to hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) by investing in technologically advanced antimicrobial handwashes and scrubs, but few, if any, of the products on the market have been adequately tested and proven effective against viruses --- until now.

Healthcare workers can spread a variety of viral and bacterial diseases with their hands when performing routine patient care duties. Killing both bacteria and viruses is critical, especially as related to HAIs and surgical site infections (SSIs). Their hand antisepsis products are usually tested for an ability to kill bacteria, but until now, few of these products have been assessed for ability to kill disease-producing viruses. Study findings confirmed that alcohol has advantages over other antimicrobial agents because of multiple mechanisms of action. The test product, SURGICEPT, demonstrated excellent activity against a variety of viral agents.

According to their research, the viruses that succumbed to SURGICEPT included adenovirus, herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2, influenza A virus, rhinovirus, vaccinia virus, bovine viral diarrhea virus, murine leukemia virus, hepatitis A virus, rotavirus, human respiratory syncytial virus and feline calcivirus virus as well as the bacterium Clostridium difficile. These represent---directly or as surrogates---disease agents that are responsible for a number of human diseases, including some that can be fatal. Current results indicated that frequently 99 percent or more of the listed infectious agents were readily destroyed by the treatment. Although this study only tested virus-killing capacity, SURGICEPT has already been proven to kill bacteria.

Seal emphasized that this information is valuable to hospitals and healthcare workers and to the public at large. We see far-reaching applications for the results of this study, he said. The viruses destroyed include those that induce respiratory infections (influenza) or epidemics of gastrointestinal disease (norovirus) like those observed on cruise ships. As the general population becomes more informed, there is an increased awareness of viral diseases and the agents that can reduce their effects. Seal added, In the healthcare arena, the effectiveness of SURGICEPT hand antiseptic against C-diff. is particularly heartening as this is an extremely challenging organism that preys on those with already weakened immune systems.

The study was performed at a variety of third- party laboratories with demonstrated expertise in this scientific arena.