Metallic copper as an antimicrobial surface

Grass, Gregor; Rensing, Christopher; Solioz, Marc (2011). Metallic copper as an antimicrobial surface. Applied and environmental microbiology, 77(5), pp. 1541-7. Washington, D.C.: American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/AEM.02766-10

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Bacteria, yeasts, and viruses are rapidly killed on metallic copper surfaces, and the term "contact killing" has been coined for this process. While the phenomenon was already known in ancient times, it is currently receiving renewed attention. This is due to the potential use of copper as an antibacterial material in health care settings. Contact killing was observed to take place at a rate of at least 7 to 8 logs per hour, and no live microorganisms were generally recovered from copper surfaces after prolonged incubation. The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys is now well established, and copper has recently been registered at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first solid antimicrobial material. In several clinical studies, copper has been evaluated for use on touch surfaces, such as door handles, bathroom fixtures, or bed rails, in attempts to curb nosocomial infections. In connection to these new applications of copper, it is important to understand the mechanism of contact killing since it may bear on central issues, such as the possibility of the emergence and spread of resistant organisms, cleaning procedures, and questions of material and object engineering. Recent work has shed light on mechanistic aspects of contact killing. These findings will be reviewed here and juxtaposed with the toxicity mechanisms of ionic copper. The merit of copper as a hygienic material in hospitals and related settings will also be discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine > Hepatology

UniBE Contributor:

Solioz, Marc

ISSN:

0099-2240

Publisher:

American Society for Microbiology

Language:

English

Submitter:

Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:11

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:21

Publisher DOI:

10.1128/AEM.02766-10

PubMed ID:

21193661

Web of Science ID:

000287700100001

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/1738 (FactScience: 203678)

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