Study Shows More Than 99 Percent Reduction in Pathogens on Polymers Treated with Agion Technology


Sciessent, a leading provider of antimicrobial solutions, announces the results of its antibiotic-resistance study. Testing a range of medical-grade polymers, Sciessent found that those treated with its Agion® antimicrobial technology killed more than 99 percent of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In the case of multiple types of central-venous catheters, MRSA was reduced between 99.56 percent and 99.999 percent and CRE was eliminated by 99.9999 percent or more – with no viable bacteria detected 24 hours after inoculation for most catheter types.
According to the CDC, more than 2 million people become ill with antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Most recently, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) have dominated headlines due to outbreaks and their exceptionally high mortality rates – 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The spread of these infections occur through skin-to-skin or skin-to-surface contact and, in the healthcare setting, medical devices are some of the most common conduits.
Sciessent embarked on extensive testing of materials often used to make medical devices; comparing Agion antimicrobial-treated materials to their untreated counterparts when it came to reducing the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms. It also tested a range of central-venous catheters, including pediatric, adult polyurethane and adult silicone. The treated and untreated catheters were inoculated with a high concentration of bacteria, including MRSA, CRE and other known antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and tested at predetermined time points. Sciessent found that the standard materials allowed MRSA and CRE to grow, while the Agion antimicrobial-treated materials showed significant reductions. In some cases, no viable bacteria were recovered.

“Despite healthcare organizations following infection-prevention procedures, there continues to be an increase in antibiotic-resistant infections globally and associated costs,” says Dr. John G. Thomas, clinical microbiologist and professor emeritus. “The healthcare community needs to reevaluate and investigate practices and technologies that will minimize the risk of exposure to these multi-drug-resistant organisms if we want to avoid a post-antibiotic era. Sciessent’s report findings are a promising first step for the use of embedded, controlled-release antimicrobial technology on medical devices and other critical surfaces known to be sources of cross contamination. As part of a larger infection-prevention strategy, Sciessent’s embedded antimicrobials have proven high-kill rates for antibiotic-resistant pathogens like MRSA and CRE.” 

“We are extremely impressed with the results of the testing, which provides yet another layer of proof to the efficacy of antimicrobial-treated medical devices and the role they can play in combating antibiotic-resistance,” says Lise Moloney, Sciessent’s director of business development, healthcare, who will be presenting the test findings this week at BIOMEDeasvice Boston. “Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are a major concern in the healthcare setting. In this testing, we demonstrated that medical polymers treated with the Agion antimicrobial technology can prevent the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Untreated polymers provide a surface that allows the resistant pathogens to not only survive but to grow.”
Test results at a glance:
-Antimicrobial-treated catheters saw at least a six-log reduction in CRE vs. the standard catheters. 
- Antimicrobial-treated pediatric catheters saw more than a two-log reduction in MRSA; antimicrobial-treated adult polyurethane catheters saw a five-log reduction in MRSA.
- No viable CRE bacteria were recovered from the antimicrobial-treated ABS, PC, PP and PEEK materials after 24 hours; MRSA was reduced by at least five-log in these materials.
Sciessent’s line of antimicrobial technology is based on silver and copper – two of the most highly effective antimicrobial agents. With medical devices containing its antimicrobials approved by the FDA, and clinical data to back their performance, the company’s technology works on the surface of products through the controlled release of elemental ions, which attack microbes and inhibit their growth. 
Source: Sciessent LLC

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