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Effectiveness of foam disinfectants in reducing sink-drain gram-negative bacterial colonization

  • Lucas D. Jones (a1) (a2), Thriveen S.C. Mana (a2) (a3), Jennifer L. Cadnum (a2), Annette L. Jencson (a2), Sandra Y. Silva (a4), Brigid M. Wilson (a5) and Curtis J. Donskey (a5) (a6)...



Sink drainage systems are not amenable to standard methods of cleaning and disinfection. Disinfectants applied as a foam might enhance efficacy of drain decontamination due to greater persistence and increased penetration into sites harboring microorganisms.


To examine the efficacy and persistence of foam-based products in reducing sink drain colonization with gram-negative bacilli.


During a 5-month period, different methods for sink drain disinfection in patient rooms were evaluated in a hospital and its affiliated long-term care facility. We compared the efficacy of a single treatment with 4 different foam products in reducing the burden of gram-negative bacilli in the sink drain to a depth of 2.4 cm (1 inch) below the strainer. For the most effective product, the effectiveness of foam versus liquid-pouring applications, and the effectiveness of repeated foam treatments were evaluated.


A foam product containing 3.13% hydrogen peroxide and 0.05% peracetic acid was significantly more effective than the other 3 foam products. In comparison to pouring the hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid disinfectant, the foam application resulted in significantly reduced recovery of gram-negative bacilli on days 1, 2, and 3 after treatment with a return to baseline by day 7. With repeated treatments every 3 days, a progressive decrease in the bacterial load recovered from sink drains was achieved.


An easy-to-use foaming application of a hydrogen peroxide- and peracetic acid-based disinfectant suppressed sink-drain colonization for at least 3 days. Intermittent application of the foaming disinfectant could potentially reduce the risk for dissemination of pathogens from sink drains.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Curtis J. Donskey, E-mail:


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Effectiveness of foam disinfectants in reducing sink-drain gram-negative bacterial colonization

  • Lucas D. Jones (a1) (a2), Thriveen S.C. Mana (a2) (a3), Jennifer L. Cadnum (a2), Annette L. Jencson (a2), Sandra Y. Silva (a4), Brigid M. Wilson (a5) and Curtis J. Donskey (a5) (a6)...


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