New reports indicate that alcohol hand washes and sanitizers are losing the battle against super strains of Enterococcal bacteria.
Educating practitioners and patients on the when, where, and why of hand sanitization within healthcare facilities has led to a pronounced decline in MRSA and HAIs for the greater part of the last 20 years. Meanwhile, “what” we wash our hands with may require new solutions.
Studies Show Super-Bacteria with 10x Resistance to Alcohol Disinfection (IPA) than In Previous Decades
Genetic Mutations in E. Faecium
Bacterial genomic signatures showed a mutation in genes with altered carbohydrate uptake and metabolism function. 70% alcohol destabilizes a unicellular organisms membrane, therefore rendering bacteria inert. If bacteria were to mutate in a way that its lipid or protein composition would change, alcohol would lose efficacy. If genetic selection increases membrane resistance without hindering primary cell functions, super-resistance is likely. Consequently, the standard contact times associated with disinfection may increase, thus hindering the fast acting advantages of isopropyl alcohol solutions.