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Antimicrobial efficacy and durability of copper formulations over one year of hospital use

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 March 2021

Elizabeth Ann Bryce*
Affiliation:
Division of Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Billie Velapatino
Affiliation:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Tysha Donnelly-Pierce
Affiliation:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Hamed Akbari Khorami
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Titus Wong
Affiliation:
Division of Medical Microbiology and Infection Prevention, Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Richard Dixon
Affiliation:
Materials Coordinator, Coalition Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (CHAIR) Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Edouard Asselin
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Engineering, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Allison McGeer
Affiliation:
Department of Microbiology and Infection Control Mount Sinai, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Jocelyn A. Srigley
Affiliation:
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Division of Microbiology, Virology, and Infection Control, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Kevin Katz
Affiliation:
Infection Prevention and Control, North York General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
*
Author for correspondence: Dr Elizabeth Ann Bryce, E-mail: Elizabeth.Bryce@vch.ca

Abstract

Objective:

To evaluate 3 formulations of copper (Cu)-based self-sanitizing surfaces for antimicrobial efficacy and durability over 1 year in inpatient clinical areas and laboratories.

Design:

Randomized control trial.

Setting:

We assessed 3 copper formulations: (1) solid alloy 80% Cu–20% Ni (integral copper), (2) spray-on 80% Cu–20% Ni (spray-on) and (3) 16% composite copper-impregnated surface (CIS). In total, 480 coupons (1 cm2) of the 3 products and control surgical grade (AISI 316) stainless steel were inserted into gaskets and affixed to clinical carts used in patient care areas (including emergency and maternity units) and on microbiology laboratory bench work spaces (n = 240). The microbial burden and assessment of resistance to wear, corrosion, and material compatibility were determined every 3 months. Participants included 3 tertiary-care Canadian adult hospital and 1 pediatric-maternity hospital.

Results:

Copper formulations used on inpatient units statistically significantly reduced bacterial bioburden compared to stainless steel at months 3 and 6. Only the integral copper product had significantly less bacteria than stainless steel at month 12. No statistically significant differences were detected in microbial burden between copper formulations and stainless-steel coupons on microbiology laboratory benches where bacterial counts were low overall. All mass changes and corrosion rates of the formulations were acceptable by engineering standards.

Conclusions:

Copper surfaces vary in their antimicrobial efficacy after 1 year of hospital use. Frequency of cleaning and disinfection influence the impact of copper; the greatest reduction in microbial bioburden occurred in clinical areas compared to the microbiology laboratory where cleaning and disinfection were performed multiple times daily.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

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