O Evaluation Of The Effectiveness Of A Sterilant

Evaluation of the effectiveness of antiseptics, disinfectants, and other sterilants (Table 6.1), although seemingly simple in principle, is an extremely complex task. One must consider the intrinsic resistance of the microbe, the microbial load, the mixture of the population of microorganisms present, the amount and nature of organic material present (e.g., blood, feces, tissue), the concentration and stability of the disinfectant or sterilant, the time and temperature of exposure, the pH, and the hydration and binding of the agent to surfaces. In summary, a host of parameters must be considered for each sterilant, and experimental assays may be difficult. Specific, standardized assays of activity are defined for each use. Toxicity for human subjects must also be evaluated. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

TABLE 6.2 Common Sterilants and Their Range of Use

Bacteria Viruses Other

Gram- Gram- Amebic positive negative Acid-fast Spores Lipophilic Hydrophilic Fungi Cysts Prions

TABLE 6.2 Common Sterilants and Their Range of Use

Gram- Gram- Amebic positive negative Acid-fast Spores Lipophilic Hydrophilic Fungi Cysts Prions

Alcohols + + -

f + + +

+

-

+

+/-

N/A

N/A

-

(isopropanol,

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