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Reducing HCAIs
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TOPIC: Copper Combats HCAIs and Antibiotic-resistant Organisms

Copper Combats HCAIs and Antibiotic-resistant Organisms 4 weeks ago #1

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in bacteria is largely responsible for the development of antibiotic-resistance, which has led to an increasing number of hard-to-treat HCAIs.

A recently-published paper in mBio shows that while HGT can take place in the environment, on frequently-touched surfaces such as door handles made from stainless steel, copper prevents this process from occurring and rapidly kills bacteria on contact.

Lead author Professor Bill Keevil, Chair in Environmental Healthcare at the University of Southampton, observed: "Whilst studies have focused on HGT in vivo, this work investigates whether the ability of pathogens to persist in the environment, particularly on touch surfaces, may also play an important role. Here, we show prolonged survival of multidrug-resistant E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae on stainless steel surfaces for several weeks. However, rapid death of both antibiotic-resistant strains and destruction of plasmid and genomic DNA was observed on copper and copper alloy surfaces, which could be useful in the prevention of infection spread and gene transfer."

What's your take on copper's role in the future of healthcare?
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