By: Sanford P. Benjamin, MD, Medical Director
Community-acquired infections (CAl) are a persistent health care challenge and the trend continues upward in children and adults. The major contributing factor for CAl is contamination of “high touch” surfaces by antibiotic resistant microorganisms in the home. Whereas antibiotics were the “wonder drugs” of the 20th century, antibiotic resistant microbes are now enemy number one. In 2012 and 2014, two separate studies published in the American Journal of Infection Control (references 1and 2) revealed that, in more than 50 percent of the time, utilizing customary disinfectants, including bleach, chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, copper solution and non-bonded oganosilane, hospital surfaces were not adequately cleaned and were re-contaminated within minutes to a few hours. Those disinfectants are effective microorganism killers but lack staying power. They are not durable. The good news is that a single application of PRO-TECHS antimicrobial agent has been proven to protect hard and soft surfaces against all microorganisms for nine to 12 months, despite regular cleaning and continuous use. Community-acquired infections are primarily caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria with lesser numbers of virus, fungus, mold and algae. Since there is no predictably effective short-term treatment for antibiotic resistant organisms, the logical strategy is to protect high-touch home surfaces from microorganism contamination.
PRO-TECHS has five unique antimicrobial features: (1) Silicon oxide protective barrier shield anchored to the home surface by super-strong covalent chemical bonds responsible for long duration effectiveness; (2) When applied to a surface, PRO-TECHS is non-leaching. It does not migrate, diffuse, dilute, or dissolve away from the application site, thus maintaining the maximum effective kill power concentration; (3) PRO-TECHS kills all bacteria, including antibiotic resistant forms, all virus, all fungus, all mold and algae; (4) In 2014, Tamimi et al published a study in the American Journal of Infection Control (reference 3) regarding PRO-TECHS effectiveness in a 24 bed intensive care unit. Prior to PRO-TECHS application, 95 surfaces were cultured and 22 were culture-positive for antibiotic resistant bacteria, a 23 percent contamination rate. After PRO-TECHS application, there was a 99.9 percent bacterial reduction at 4 weeks, a 99.0 percent bacterial reduction at 8 weeks and 98.6 percent reduction at 15 weeks. Sixty-five sites were cultured at regular intervals and only one site was positive for Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus on a fabric-covered chair armrest in the ICU visitor’s waiting room. Fifteen weeks after PRO-TECHS application, the ICU contamination rate was reduced from 23 percent to 1.5 percent; (5)
PRO-TECHS kill mechanism is physical, ie, electrocution at the molecular level. Unlike the chemical kill mechanism of usual disinfectants, PRO-TECHS microbe kill is instantaneous, not allowing a time lapse for adaptive mutant antibiotic resistant “superbug” formation. Another study by the Faculty of Applied Science in the Department of Biotechnology at Durban (South Africa) University of Technology (reference 4) was designed to approximate the customary usage of PRO-TECHS antimicrobial agent. The investigators utilized a well-established methodology to measure PRO-TECHS effectiveness. A plastic Petri dish served as the test surface and was coated with the PRO-TECHS solution. The treated surface was then seeded with a heavy dose of Staphylococcus aureus in excess of 10 million cells/ml, a bacterial dose much larger than those usually encountered on exposed surfaces. After the microbe challenge, the bacterial inoculation was recovered from the surface and plated on rich nutrient culture media to assess the degree of bacterial survival. This process was repeated at regular intervals for a period of one month. Positive and negative controls were included in the study. The multiple cultures were all negative for bacterial growth, ie. Zero bacterial growth at each testing interval. The extent of the killing (no bacterial survivors) suggested that the manufacturer’s claim of antimicrobial effectiveness of PRO-TECHS- treated surfaces for up to 12 months is indeed valid. (5) PRO-TECHS kill mechanism is physical electrocution at the molecular level. Unlike the chemical kill of usual disinfectants, PRO-TECHS microbe kill is instantaneous, not allowing a time lapse for adaptive mutant antibiotic resistant “superbug” formation.
So how is PRO-TECHS antimicrobial agent relevant to the home and family market? The domestic acquired infections are primarily due to antibiotic resistant bacteria. MRSA is by far the most frequent and arguably the most treacherous offender, challenging to treat, yet not difficult to prevent with high touch surface application of PRO-TECHS. Less frequently occurring home surface bacterial contaminants include Streptococcus, a causative agent of Strep throat, middle ear infections, pneumonia and meningitis and Mycoplasma bacteria, a causative agent of pneumonia in school age children and young adults. Viruses contaminating domestic surfaces include influenza A and B “flu”, the common cold Rhinovirus, Herpesvirus, and Hepatitis virus, all challenging to treat, yet not difficult to prevent with PRO-TECHS surface application. Fungal surface contamination of concern in the home is Aspergillus mold which may cause an allergic hypersensitivity pneumonia-like reaction in the bronchial airways, primarily in asthmatic children and adults, otherwise known as Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis. A less dramatic acquired domestic fungal infection easily prevented by PRO-TECHS surface application is athlete’s foot fungus, Tinea Pedis, a surface contaminant involving wet shower floors.
The surface areas in the house most vulnerable to contamination by disease causing microorganisms are the kitchen, the bathroom and the children’s playroom/family room as well as door knobs. The kitchen is the number one most polluted area in the house. Kitchen areas of concern include the high touch food preparation counters, water faucets and sink, refrigerator door handle, kitchen table and chairs. Bathroom high touch contamination surfaces include water faucets, toilet flush handles, toilet seat and shower floor. The family room and/or children’s playroom are high risk targets for contamination of television remote controls, video game consoles, computer keyboards and computer mice and high touch toy surfaces.
PRO-TECHS SAFETY PROFILE
Before any disinfectant product is marketed for general use, there must be reasonable assurance of product safety. PRO-TECHS is registered by the strict standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Biocide Agency as safe, non-toxic, non-polluting, non-irritating, biodegradable, environmentally green, non-flammable and non-allergenic. PRO-TECHS is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as “food grade clean”. When PRO-TECHS is applied to any hard or soft surface, the result is colorless, odorless, and does not change the surface appearance or texture. If and when PRO-TECHS comes into contact with skin, it has been found to be non-absorbed, non-toxic, non-irritating and non-allergenic, although I believe that it is always prudent to apply water for 15 minutes to any skin contact with any disinfectant solution and to consult a physician if any untoward effects persist.
- Carling, P.C. et al. Evaluation hygiene in health care settings; what you do not know can harm your patients. American Journal of Infection Control, vol. 38: 541-550, 2010.
- Attaway, H. et al. Intrinsic bacterial burden associated with ICU hospital beds; effects of disinfection on population recovery and migration of potential infection risk. American Journal of Infection Control, vol. 40: 907- 912.2012.
- Tamimi, A. et al. Long term efficacy of a self-disinfecting coating in a 24 bed intensive care unit. American Journal of Infection Control, volume 42: 1178-1181. 2014.
- Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of Biotechnology, Durban University (South Africa). Report on antibacterial effectiveness of PRO-TECHS July, 2016.