Researchers Explore the Safety and Tolerability of Virucidal Handrubs


The hands of the medical staff play an important role in transmission of pathogens in the healthcare environment. Hand hygiene is efficient, easy to perform and cost-effective. Safety, tolerability and acceptance of hand hygiene preparations play a major role in hand hygiene compliance, and apply, in particular, to formulations with high anti-viral activity. Conrad et al. (2015) conducted a clinical trial to evaluate the safety and tolerability of different virucidal handrubs.

In a randomized, double-blind, four-period cross-over trial, healthy volunteers received three different virucidal hand rubs (P1-P3) and a reference product (R) in randomized sequence over a period of four days each with a washout period. The primary endpoint was skin barrier function measured by transepidermal water loss (TEWL) after application.

Twenty-two subjects (seven male, 15 female; median age 25, range 21–54) were randomized and started at least one period. TEWL was 22.5; 95%-confidence interval (CI): 19.6-25.4 after P1, 16.3; 13.5–19.1 after P2, 16.4; 13.4–19.3 after P3, and 24.0; 21.1–27.0 after R; p < 0.0001. The percentage of subjects experiencing at least one adverse event (AE) was 86% with P1, 25% with P2, 89% with P3 and 56% with R. The majority of AEs were skin reactions classified as of mild severity. No serious AEs were observed.

The researchers conclude that the results were inconsistent. The number of AEs was higher than expected for all products. The researchers say there is room for improvement both for handrub development and the scientific approaches taken to practically and reproducibly evaluate handrub safety and tolerability. Their research was published in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

Reference: Conrad A, Grotejohann B, Schmoor C, Cosic D and Dettenkofer M. Safety and tolerability of virucidal hand rubs: a randomized, double-blind, cross-over trial with healthy volunteers. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2015, 4:37  doi:10.1186/s13756-015-0079-y

Related Videos
Rare Disease Month: An Infection Control Today® and Contagion® collaboration.
Lucy S. Witt, MD, investigates hospital bed's role in C difficile transmission, emphasizing room interactions and infection prevention
Chikungunya virus, 3D illustration. Emerging mosquito-borne RNA virus from Togaviridae family that can cause outbreaks of a debilitating arthritis-like disease   (Adobe Stock 126688070 by Dr Microbe)
Ambassador Deborah Birx, , speaks with Infection Control Today about masks in schools and the newest variant.
Woman lying in hospital bed (Adobe Stock, unknown)
Deborah Birx, MD
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (Adobe Stock, unknown)
CDC (Adobe Stock, unknown)
Inside Track with Infection Control Today
Related Content