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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow ANTIBACTERIAL PRODUCTS INCREASE ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE
ANTIBACTERIAL PRODUCTS INCREASE ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE
2008 Annual Conference on Antimicrobial Resistance: Abstract S5. June 23-25, 2008.
Antibacterial product use can lead to decreased susceptibility to other antibacterial ingredients and antibiotic resistance. "Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs), such as benzalkonium chloride [BZK], are broad-spectrum antimicrobials that have been widely used for decades to disinfect environmental surfaces in clinical and industrial settings," according to Allison Aiello an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor.

"Antibacterial consumer products leave residues on home surfaces, exposing bacterial species to low levels of the agent and creating conditions favorable for development of resistance to both biocides and antibiotics." This study strove to assess the effect of antibacterial product usage in the home environment on the susceptibility to QACs and to examine the possible correlation between QACs and antibiotic resistance.

238 households were randomly assigned to use either antibacterial or non-antibacterial cleaning products. At baseline and 1 year later, 645 bacterial isolates, including gram-negative and staphylococcal species, were isolated from hands of participants and tested for sensitivity to BZK, triclosan, and several antibiotics.

Sensitivity testing was performed for all gram-negative bacteria against gentamicin, imipenem, and ciprofloxacin; for Acinetobacter baumannii and A lwoffii against amikacin and ticarcillin/clavulanate; for Enterobacter agglomerans and E cloacae against trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole; for Klebsiella pneumonia against trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, piperacillin/tazobactam, and ceftriaxone; for Pseudomonas fluorescens/putida against piperacillin/tazobactam and ceftazidime; and for staphylococcal species against oxacillin for methicillin resistance.
 
"Our study reports, for the first time, a significant relationship between use of a common antibacterial cleaning agent ([BZK]) and cross-resistance with antibiotics and another antibacterial ingredient (triclosan) in the household setting," Dr. Aiello said. "The results of our study suggest that the growing concern over the emergence of cross-resistance between biocides used in the household and clinically used antibiotics is warranted."

In other words, using all those antibacterial wipes and similar products makes it more likely that you will not respond to an antibiotic when you need to.

Bottom line, use hot water and soap, that's all that's necessary.

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