Articles


The Impact of Continuously Active Disinfectants

Categories: Cleaning for Health

By Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds | February 7, 2022 << Back to Articles

Environmental surfaces are frequently contaminated with microbes and contribute to the spread of infectious agents. Despite effective surface disinfectants, maintaining hygienic surfaces is difficult due to commonly touched surfaces that are easily recontaminated.

The formation of microbial biofilms on wet and dry surfaces creates additional challenges for contamination control in hospitals, food production, and other critical environments, given increased protection from biocides. Survival of some organisms ranges from hours to weeks or more, allowing ample time for transmission to susceptible hosts and repeat contamination of surfaces. Interventions that effectively reduce the persistence of pathogens in the environment are expected to have a direct impact on reduced risks of exposure and infection.

Recent innovations in infection control include continuously active disinfectants (CADs) that kill microbes and prevent the growth of harmful biofilms on surfaces over time. These discoveries are game changers in the field of infection prevention.

Data for Klorkleen 2 (KK2), an EPA registered CAD with claims against a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, spores, and biofilm pathogens (EPA 71847-7), is summarized for proof of efficacy for the product as an antibacterial surface coating. Two third-party United States laboratories, one evaluating surface antimicrobial efficacy and the other evaluating biofilm inhibition, submitted data for this study. KK2 is a quat-free formulation of sodium dichloroisocyanurate (NaDCC) CAD in the form of a fast-dissolving effervescent tablet.

This review shows clear benefits of the Klorkleen 2 continuously active disinfectant (KK2-CAD) technology for the reduction of surface bacteria, including disinfectant resistant C. difficile spores and the inhibition of biofilm regrowth. CADs are considered a major discovery in the control of environmental contamination and infection spread. These antimicrobial coatings can be used passively in occupied rooms and continuously supplement manual cleaning to reduce the concentration of environmental pathogens.

Conclusion and significance

Numerous studies have found traditional cleaning methods in health care environments to be suboptimal and have called for protocol improvements with the consideration of passive, automated antimicrobial interventions. (Dancer, 2014; Reynolds, Sexton, Garavito, Anderson, & Ivaska, 2021)

The formation of microbial biofilms on wet and dry surfaces creates additional challenges for contamination control in hospitals, food production, and other critical environments, given increased protection from biocides. (Abdallah et al., 2014)

Survival of some organisms ranges from hours to weeks or more, allowing ample time for transmission to susceptible hosts and repeat contamination of surfaces. Interventions that effectively reduce the persistence of pathogens in the environment are expected to have a direct impact on reduced risks of exposure and infection.

This article is featured in the GBAC-TIPS Journal, InfectionControl.tips. See the full peer-reviewed article and citations at issa.com/biofilm.


About the Author.

Dr. Kelly A. Reynolds, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Community, Environment, and Policy, program director of environmental health sciences at the Zuckerman College of Public Health, and director of the Environment, Exposure Science, and Risk Assessment Center at the University of Arizona.