Technical Updates

Live Experiment Shows MRSA Dies On Antimicrobial Copper Surfaces



CU++ Scientific Proof

Just determined by an experiment, MRSA has met its match with Antimicrobial Copper. A live webcast experiment www.antimicrobialtouchsurface.com demonstrated that Antimicrobial Copper effectively kills MRSA within two hours while it readily survives on stainless steel.

"Antimicrobial copper is part of the solution in the fight against healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) – it kills 99.9% of bacteria within two hours of exposure," said Harold Michels, senior vice president, technology and technical services for the Copper Development Association (CDA).

The experiment was sponsored by the International Copper Association and the European Copper Institute. Professor William Keevil, microbiological researcher and head of Environmental Research at the University of Southampton (UK), who conducted the experiment noted, "We know that 80 percent of all infections are spread by touch and a contaminated hand will contaminate at least another seven touch surfaces."

Findings

Between 2005 and 2008, 17,508 cases of invasive MRSA infections contracted in healthcare facilities were recorded in the US alone. Before the experiment, the MRSA culture was stained with a green fluorescent dye to make it visible under a microscope, and then placed on Antimicrobial Copper and stainless steel. As the bacteria died off, the fluorescence diminished. The rate of diminishing fluorescence was a measure of the antimicrobial power of the surface on which it had been placed.

The stainless steel surface showed little fade, indicating the surface had no antimicrobial activity. By contrast, the MRSA on the Antimicrobial Copper surface died in real time during the webcast. Why is this important? The first week of April is International MRSA Testing Week, sponsored by the MRSA Survivors Network. The goal of International MRSA Testing Week is to highlight the global epidemic of MRSA, and to set up a worldwide MRSA surveillance and reporting system. This system would further the goal of raising awareness of MRSA, centralising the relevant information, and helping facilitate the implementation of active detection and isolation (ADI).

Recommendations

MRSA is just one of six infectious bacteria that Antimicrobial Copper products can make public health claims against under the EPA registration and help protect ViralFx™ against becoming a healthcare-acquired infection (HAI) in healthcare facilities worldwide. Worldwide, more than seven million people suffer from HAIs annually. In addition to the immeasurable personal costs, the World Health Organization estimates the actual costs of HAI deaths to be roughly $6.5 billion.

"Our goal is for healthcare administrators, infectious disease professionals, architects and other healthcare decision-makers to consider Antimicrobial Copper products when they’re retrofitting or building new facilities because of their ability to continuously kill bacterial contamination," concluded Michels.