New research indicates that hand sanitizers based on alcohol disinfectants are not sufficient to eliminate certain superbugs, also known as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That could make it harder for hospitals to contain the spread of E faecium infections, including those caused by vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), a hospital-associated superbug that's been on the rise in hospitals around the globe. Administered as a preventative and treatment against infections caused by thousands of animals living together in tight conditions with little access to fresh air or sunlight, antibiotics are also used to enhance animal growth.
They found that samples collected after 2009 were on average more resistant to the alcohol compared with bacteria taken from before 2004.
Professor Timothy Stinea says, 'This is a wake-up call to infection control hospital teams around the world that if you want to control the emergence of VRE you need to do more than just rely on your alcohol-based disinfectants.More news: Klopp open to selling Liverpool duo following world-record move
(2018) tested alcohol tolerance of 139 hospital isolates of E. faecium obtained between 1997 and 2015 and found that E. faecium isolates after 2010 were 10-fold more tolerant to killing by alcohol than were older isolates.
He added: "Alcohol-based hand hygiene use has increased tenfold over the past 20 years in Australian hospitals, so we are using a lot and the environment is changing".
"Alcohol-based hand sanitizing wipes are worldwide pillars of hospital infection control and remain very effective in reducing the transmission of other hospital superbugs, particularly MRSA", said Paul Johnson.More news: EpiPens could run out in August: Health Canada
The scientists then spread the bacteria onto the floors of mouse cages and found that the alcohol-resistant samples were more likely to get into, and grow in the guts of the mice after the cages were cleaned with isopropyl alcohol wipes.
This prompted his team to investigate the VRE bug for potential resistance to disinfectant alcohols.
Instead they suggested trying higher-alcohol concentrate products and renewed efforts to deep clean hospitals while isolating patients found to carry VRE.More news: Duke of Sussex's old Audi for sale online for £71k