New weapon against C. Difficile: significant scientific breakthrough at Université de Saint-Boniface
WINNIPEG, Aug. 13, 2012 /CNW/ – A team of researchers from Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) in Manitoba has proven the effectiveness of a disinfectant that could revolutionize the fight against superbugs in the hospital system.
The study led by Mathias Oulé, Ph.D., microbiology professor at Manitoba’s Université de Saint-Boniface, shows that Akwaton tackles spore-forming bacteria, including Clostridium difficile whose heat-tolerant spores can live on surfaces for long periods of time and survive a number of years in a dry environment. The study has just been published in the UK’s prestigious Journal of Medical Microbiology.
Most of the chemical disinfectants that are currently used control or prevent the spread of bacterial spores. However, the study shows that Akwaton is able to destroy Bacillus subtilis spores suspended in water and attached to stainless steel or glass surfaces, at very dilute concentrations, after just 90 seconds’ treatment. Previous studies by the USB research team have shown that Akwaton is also effective against strains of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
Dr. Mathias Oulé explained Akwaton’s main advantages: “Most disinfectants have to be applied at much higher concentrations – typically between 4 and 10% – which may be harmful to humans. Akwaton destroys spores at concentrations well below 1%.” Akwaton is non-corrosive, non-irritating, non-toxic, odourless and environmentally safe. “All these properties make it an ideal disinfectant for hospitals and laboratories. It may also have great value in the food industry,” said Dr. Oulé.
“Université de Saint-Boniface is proud to be a part of the ongoing battle against superbugs, the outbreaks of which are a threat to all hospitals and health care facilities in Canada and around the globe,” said USB President Raymonde Gagné. “Dr. Oulé’s paper has already garnered a great deal of attention in Europe, and it will also undoubtedly generate considerable interest in Canada.”
The paper titled “Akwaton, Polyhexamethylene-Guanidine Hydrochloride-Based Sporicidal Disinfectant: A Novel Tool to Fight Bacterial Spores and Nosocomial Infections” was published on August 8, 2012 in the scholarly Journal of Medical Microbiology.
The article and the press release issued by the UK-based Society for General Microbiology are available online at www.sgmjournals.org and on the USB website.
Université de Saint-Boniface is Manitoba’s only French-language postsecondary institution. Its research activities are primarily focused on francophone and Métis cultural and identity issues; science; the environment and health; access to health care and social services in French; education; translation; and regional development and social management.
The Society for General Microbiology (SGM) is the largest learned microbiological society in Europe with a worldwide membership based in universities, industry, hospitals, research institutes and schools. The SGM publishes four journals presenting high-quality research findings.