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An Evaluation of the AbTox Plazlyte Sterilization System

  • E.A. Bryce (a1), E. Chia (a1), G. Logelin (a1) and J.A. Smith (a1)



To evaluate the efficacy of the AbTox Plazlyte Sterilization System against selected microbial species using inoculated carriers and surgical instruments.


The microbiology laboratory of a 700-bed adult tertiary-care hospital.


The study was conducted in two phases. In phase 1, microorganisms were inoculated to various metal, paper, plastic, and glass carriers, as well as surgical equipment, and processed in cycle II of the AbTox sterilizer. Phase 2 compared AbTox cycle III with ethylene oxide sterilization using stainless steel washers, penicylinders, and surgical equipment. In both phases, cultures of equipment and carriers were obtained after processing. The phenotypic profiles and antibiograms of positive cultures were compared to the original inoculate to rule out the possibility of contamination.


Of a total of 350 paper carriers, 375 metal washers, and 234 pieces of equipment processed in cycle II and using trypticase soy broth as the inoculating medium, 123 metal washers (32%) and 8 instruments (3%) failed to be sterilized. Similar failures were noted with cycle III. The presence of either salt or protein adversely affected the system's ability to sterilize in either cycle.


Further studies are needed to evaluate the extent to which salt or organic material compromise low-temperature gas-plasma sterilization. Meanwhile, users should exercise caution and use care in the cleaning of instruments that will be processed in the plasma-based sterilization technologies


Corresponding author

Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre, 855 W 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Canada


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1. AbTox Technical Data Monograph for Canadian Users. 11-02010, Rev. A (undated).
2.Wilson, R. Evaluation of Plazlyte sterilization system at Richmond Hospital, Richmond, BC. Journal of Health Care Material Management 1994;12;34:3740.
3.Alfa, MJ, DeGagne, P, Olson, N, et al. Comparison of ion plasma, vaporized hydrogen peroxide and 100% ethylene oxide sterilizers to the 12188 ethylene oxide gas sterilizer. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1996;17:92100.
4.Jordy, A. The status of LTP-sterilization in hospitals as reflected in current expert opinion. Zentralsterilisation 1993;1:4554.
5.Holler, C, Martiny, H, Christiansen, B, Ruden, H, Gundermann, KD. The efficacy of low temperature plasma (LTP) sterilization, a new sterilization technique. Zentralb Hyg Umweltmed 1993;194:380391.

An Evaluation of the AbTox Plazlyte Sterilization System

  • E.A. Bryce (a1), E. Chia (a1), G. Logelin (a1) and J.A. Smith (a1)


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