New 'Self-Cleaning' Surface Technology Proven to Reduce Pathogens in Hospital Environment

A study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control recently confirmed the effectiveness of new technology in reducing the number of hospital surface bacteria by more than 99 percent at least eight weeks after initial application – essentially eliminating dangerous pathogens like Clostridium difficile (C. diff) from the hospital landscape.

Titled "Long-Term Efficacy of a Self-Disinfecting Coating in an Intensive Care Unit" and conducted by the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the study focused on SurfaceWise™ by Allied BioScience, a long-lasting antimicrobial surface coating that provides continuous disinfecting action when applied to almost any surface.  SurfaceWise is the first technology of its kind to be proven effective in this capacity. It is an invisible coating that binds to surfaces at a molecular level, forming a protective shield that creates a hostile microscopic environment for pathogens. This makes it difficult for infection-causing microbes to survive. As surfaces are touched, therefore recontaminated, the treated surface itself reacts to fight the threat.

For pthe urposes of this study, which was performed between May 10, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2013, the coating was applied to 95 sites in an ICU at a major Southern California hospital, and those test sites were followed during a 15-week period. In addition to SurfaceWise proving more than 99 percent effective eight weeks after application, overall bacteria levels - including that of C. diff., as well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) - never returned to levels recorded before application, even at the 15-week mark. Before the application of SurfaceWise, antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found on one-quarter of the sites sampled. After application of SurfaceWise, no antibiotic-resistant bacteria were found on any of the sites for eight weeks.

"Cleaning and disinfecting can effectively remove pathogens from surfaces, but studies have shown that more than half the time, surfaces are not adequately cleaned through traditional methods. Plus, these surfaces can be recontaminated within minutes," says Charles P. Gerba, PhD, professor at the University of Arizona and member of ABS' scientific advisory board. "The study of SurfaceWise has found this technology to continuously keep health care environments free of harmful pathogens for up to three months after application."

In the study, cultures were collected from patient rooms, specifically bed rails, bed controls, tray tables and around wall sinks, in addition to nursing stations and lobby areas including countertops, phones, computer keyboards, chair armrests and end table surfaces. The surfaces were tested initially and throughout the study for bacterial presence at one-, two-, four-, eight- and 15-week checkpoints. For the duration of the study, hospital staff maintained routine cleaning protocols, including disinfection procedures with reusable cloths containing bleach and/or disposable quaternary ammonium wipes.

"Although SurfaceWise performed to our high expectations in previous lab settings, it was reassuring to see the amazing results Dr. Gerba and his team gathered from this real-world hospital environment," says Michael Ruley, CEO of ABS. "It's revolutionary, really. Never before has there been a long-lasting pathogen-fighting solution for breaking the chain of infection where the risk is highest."    

ABS' technology is scientifically founded on an ongoing series of research programs in the areas of chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology and material sciences. This research, beginning in 2008, is supported by ABS on leading American university campuses. The collaboration of this interdisciplinary team of scientists has led to proven technologies, both in the laboratory and in real-world settings. ABS is looking to the future of surface-coating technologies, with other products currently in various phases of the research and development pipeline.

Source: Allied BioScience