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Hygiene against anthrax. (Clinical Capsules).

Hand washing with soap and water, 2% chiorhexidine gluconate, or chiorine towels was effective against Bacillus atrophaeus in a recent study but waterless ethyl alcohol rubs failed to remove spores.

B. atrophaeus was used as a surrogate of B. anthracis in this study because it is dosely related to the anthrax-causing bacillus and is slightly less susceptible to germicides, Dr. David J. Weber of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his colleagues reported (JAMA 289[10]: 1274-77, 2003).

The hands of six healthy volunteers per regimen (two per each wash time) were contaminated with 5 mL of an inoculum of about 2.2 x 106 B. atrophaeus spores/mL. The mean reductions (measured in log10 colony-forming units/mL) of B. atrophaeus after washing their hands for 10 seconds, 30 seconds, and 60 seconds were 2.4, 2.3, and 2.1 with soap and water; 2.1, 1.8, and 1.7 with 2% chiorhexidine gluconate; and 1.3, 1.6, and 2.2 with chlorine-containing microfiber towels. The waterless, 61% ethyl alcohol rub was completely ineffective in eliminating B. atrophaeus spores.

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Title Annotation:hand washing with soap and water may help prevention anthrax contamination
Publication:Family Practice News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 15, 2003
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