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Influence of two handwashing frequencies on reduction in colonizing flora with three handwashing products used by health care personnel



Influence of two handwashing frequencies on reduction in colonizing flora with three handwashing products used by health care personnel



American Journal of Infection Control 17(2): 83-92



Four handwashing products (containing either 2% chlorhexidine gluconate, 0.6% parachlorometaxylenol, 0.3% triclosan, or a nonantimicrobial control) at two handwashing frequencies (6 or 18 times/day) were compared with regard to their effectiveness in reducing colonizing hand flora. Eighty adult volunteers were assigned by block randomization to one of the four products and one of the two frequency schedules (n = 10/group) and washed their hands under supervision for 5 consecutive days. There were no significant differences between products in mean log10 colony-forming units after the initial wash (p = 0.61), nor were there significant differences in products after 5 days among subjects washing six times per day. For those who washed 18 times per day, however, the effectiveness of all three antimicrobial soaps was significantly better than that of the control soap (p < 0.05). Chlorhexidine gluconate produced significantly greater reductions than triclosan or parachlorometaxylenol (p < 0.05), which were not significantly different from each other. On the basis of these findings an antimicrobial soap is recommended when handwashing frequency is high and a long-term reduction in colonizing flora is desirable. When handwashing frequency is low (6 times/day), there seems to be less advantage of one product over another, although the use of chlorhexidine gluconate resulted in greater reductions at both high and low handwashing frequencies.

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Accession: 007460742

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 2729661

DOI: 10.1016/s0001-2092(07)66027-x


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