International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

The effectiveness of sodium dichloroisocyanurate treatments against Clostridium difficile spores contaminating stainless steel

BACKGROUND: Clostridium difficile is a major cause of hospital-associated infective diarrhea, and its spore form can persist for months in the hospital environment. Chlorine-based cleaning agents are recommended for eliminating this reservoir of potential infection. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the individual contributions of active chlorine, detergent and mechanical action on decontamination of a C difficile contaminated surface. METHODS: C difficile spores in test soil were dried onto stainless steel strips and exposed to sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) or NaDCC combined with detergent (NaDCC1) or exposed to these cleaning formulations combined with wiping and/or detergent precleaning. After set contact times, remaining viable spores from the strips were recovered and enumerated by vortexing with glass beads, followed by membrane filtration. RESULTS: Compared with NaDCC, the inclusion of detergent in the NaDCC1 formulation did not improve the effectiveness of decontamination in any exposure-only treatment at concentrations tested (P>.05). Combining wiping with exposure to the cleaning formulations improved decontamination effectiveness with further reductions in spore counts of 1.66- and 2.19-log10 colony forming units at 2 and 20 minutes, respectively, using NaDCC, and of 2.46 and 2.56 log10 colony-forming units at 2 and 20 minutes, respectively, using NaDCC1. Precleaning the strips by wiping with detergent before exposure to NaDCC was more effective than wiping with NaDCC or NaDCC1 at 10 and 20 minutes contact times. Wiping with NaDCC1 was more effective than NaDCC only at a 2-minute contact time. Wiping with detergent followed by subsequent wiping with NaDCC (1,000 ppm) was the most effective treatment tested with a 4.00-log10 reduction observed. CONCLUSION: Rigorous precleaning with detergent and the associated physical removal of spores through the mechanical action associated with wiping are important factors in achieving effective decontamination of surfaces when using chlorine-based agents. American Journal of Infection Control 2011;39:199-205.