1717. Antimicrobial activity of a novel copper film surface treatment
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Infection Prevention: Cleaning and Disinfection
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Room: Poster Hall
  • ID_Week 2015_EMI InVitro.pdf (655.9 kB)
  • Background: Environmental surfaces, particularly high-touch surfaces (e.g., bed rails), play an important role in the cross-transmission of nosocomial pathogens that cause healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Previous studies have shown that substituting hospital equipment with those that have had copper integrated into their surfaces can reduce rates of HAIs. Our group has developed a novel copper surface film that obviates the need for replacement of existing equipment and other high-touch surfaces. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the antimicrobial properties of this novel surface treatment.

    Methods: The project was conducted in two phases. Phase one utilized a carrier test method against commonly encountered nosocomial pathogens over a 36-hour period to determine in vitro efficacy of the copper impregnated coating.  A 10^7 CFU/mL suspension, supplemented with newborn calf serum for organic load, was used to inoculate all testing surfaces. Phase two, an in vivo study, was performed in several patient rooms in our hospital. In this phase, high touch surfaces were randomized to one of three surface treatment arms: 1) control A - no treatment; 2) control B - non-copper film; and 3) treatment - copper film. Quantitative aerobic colony counts were measured using a contact plate recovery method.

    Results: In vitro testing revealed complete kill of MRSA and Acinetobacter baumanii on LDPE discs coated with the copper film at all tested time intervals (0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 24 and 36 hours). In contrast, untreated discs yielded recovery of  10^3-10^4 CFU/mL over the same time intervals. In vivo testing in patient rooms prior to occupancy showed that average aerobic colony counts on high-touch surfaces treated with the copper-containing film were 43% lower than surfaces treated with a control (non-copper) film (0.27 CFU/cm^2 versus 0.47 CFU/cm^2).

    Conclusion: Our studies show that the novel copper film surface treatment has rapid in vitro activity against a number of commonly encountered nosocomial pathogens. Initial findings from our in vivo studies demonstrate that the copper surface may have similar microbial activity when deployed in a real-world setting but additional data needs to be collected before this can be stated with greater certainty.

    Christopher Crnich, MD, PhD1,2, Megan Duster, BS MT (ASCP)2, Priya Varghese, BS3, Keith Donaldson, MS4 and Robert Tweed, BS4, (1)William S. Middleton VA Hospital, Madison, WI, (2)Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, (3)University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI, (4)Engineered Materials, Inc., Buffalo Grove, IL


    C. Crnich, Engineered Materials, Inc.: Investigator , Research support

    M. Duster, Engineered Materials, Inc.: Investigator , Research support

    P. Varghese, None

    K. Donaldson, Engineered Materials, Inc.: Employee , Salary

    R. Tweed, Engineered Materials, Inc.: Employee , Salary

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. PDT, Wednesday Oct. 7th with the exception of research findings presented at the IDWeek press conferences.