Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study shows copper could help control MRSA contamination

06.07.2004


A new study by scientists at the University of Southampton suggests that MRSA contamination can be reduced by using copper alloys for surfaces in healthcare facilities.



Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a virulent organism, essentially resistant to all beta-lactam antibiotics (for example: penicillins, ampicillins, cephalosporins). It can cause skin, bone and life-threatening blood infections, as well as pneumonia.

In a study co-funded by the International Copper Association and Copper Development Association Inc., New York, Professor Bill Keevil, Head of the Environmental Healthcare Unit in the University of Southampton’s School of Biological Sciences, and Dr Jonathan Noyce examined the survival rates of the organism on stainless steel, the most commonly used metal in healthcare facilities, and on selected copper alloys.


Their findings, which were reported recently at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in New Orleans, showed that at room temperature, MRSA was able to persist and remain viable in dried deposits on stainless steel for periods up to 72 hours.

For copper alloys containing 55 per cent, 80 per cent, and 99 per cent copper, significant reductions in viability were achieved after four and a half hours, three hours, and one and a half hours, respectively. Yellow brass rendered the bacteria completely inviable after 270 minutes, while the high-copper alloy took only 90 minutes.

‘Our results strongly indicate that use of the copper metals in such applications as door knobs, push plates, fittings, fixtures and work surfaces would considerably mitigate MRSA in hospitals and reduce the risk of cross-contamination between staff and patients in critical care areas,’ said Professor Keevil.

‘However, despite the significant performance of copper alloys in our study, we also noted that the survivability of MRSA on all metals at lower temperatures is much greater, indicating that hygiene is particularly imperative in those environments.’

Professor Keevil added that the antimicrobial effects of copper have been well documented. ‘Recent studies on E. coli O157 and Listeria monocytogenes on copper alloy surfaces show similar dramatic results, reducing viability of those pathogens from several weeks on stainless steel to only a matter of hours on copper alloys,’ he said.

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>