A new review in the Journal of Hospital Infection attempts to answer the question ‘Should we be worried about reduced susceptibility to disinfectants and antiseptics in healthcare settings?’.
This topic was the subject of a debate at 2 US conferences in the spring of 2013. The review is a general representation of the main themes presented during the debate, rather than a systematic review of the literature. Since it represent the consensus view of a whole range of experts it has important implications for ongoing attitudes to use of microbiocides in the home. Although it addresses both antiseptics (such as chlorhexidine, benzalkonium chloride and triclosan) and disinfectants, it mostly refers to antiseptics. The authors concluded that “There are examples of reduced susceptibility to antiseptics in clinical practice; however, to date, there is no strong evidence that reduced susceptibility to antiseptics is a major clinical problem. Given the growing number of potential indications for use of biocidal active ingredients, the potential for emergence of reduced susceptibility remains a concern.
The review can be found at http://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701%2814%2900155-8/abstract – and is free to download until 31st August