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A New Look into How Disinfectant Products Contribute to Antibiotic Resistance

NOV 09, 2016 | EINAV KEET
“Chlorhexidine is a critical part of current infection control practices, and the development of increased resistance to this compound has potential implications for our ability to prevent infections during routine and emergency surgery, and during admission to hospitals,” said J. Mark Sutton, PhD, one of the study’s coauthors, in a press release about their findings.  As a last-line antibiotic, colistin is regarded as a lifeline for some of the hardest to treat infections, so the rare but increasing occurrence of pathogens resistant to colistin is a troubling development  for the healthcare system. “If the same response is seen in hospitals, this might mean that we need to rethink how and where some types of critical disinfectants or antiseptics are used in the clinic,” Dr. Sutton added.

Hand hygiene and infection control precautions made by healthcare workers remain an important line of defense for preventing the spread of K. pneumoniae in hospitals. The CDC also recommend that patients practice hand washing and hygiene very often, including:
  • Before preparing or eating food
  • Before touching their eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Before and after changing wound dressings or bandages
  • After using the restroom
  • After blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching hospital surfaces such as bed rails, bedside tables, doorknobs, remote controls, or the phone
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