Copper may help fight against superbugs

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Washington, Dec 2 (ANI): A new British study suggests that copper might be helpful in combating infections caused by microbes.

In an experiment at a busy Birmingham teaching hospital, researchers exchanged traditional toilet seat, tap-handles and a ward door push-plate for similar items made from 70percent copper. They found that the copper articles had 90-100percent less bacteria than the non-copper surfaces.

Similar results were obtained from a primary healthcare facility in the Western Cape, South Africa. Almost 71percent less microbes were found on frequently touched surfaces overlaid with copper sheets in comparison with compared with same articles made of conventional materials.

It was also seen that the use of copper-based disinfectant (CuWBO) was more effective in killing germs.

"The results of the first clinical trials in both Birmingham and South Africa suggest that the use of copper may assist in maintaining hospital surfaces free of bacteria and could augment cleaning programmes already introduced into health care settings. The findings related to the use of a copper biocide adds further evidence to the potential of this metal for fighting infection," Prof Elliott, lead researcher at University Hospital Birmingham, said.

The study will appear in three papers slated for publication in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection. (ANI)

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