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Free Content Efficacy of common antiseptics against mycobacteria

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SETTING AND OBJECTIVE: Antiseptics are frequently used to prevent mycobacterial infection; however, the reported activities of a number of antiseptics against mycobacteria are not always consistent. The aim of this study was to determine those antiseptics that are useful against mycobacteria.

dESIGN: Evaluation of antiseptic activity against mycobacteria in vitro.

RESULTS: The effects of different antiseptics on mycobacteria (Mycobacterium avium, M. kansasii and M. tuberculosis) were examined. At concentrations of 0.05%, povidone-iodine (PVP-I) killed 99% or more of all strains tested within 15 seconds, while 0.5% chlorhexidine gluconate and 0.1% benzalkonium chloride showed no bactericidal activity against mycobacteria. M. kansasii and M. tuberculosis were killed after exposure to cresol for 60 seconds at concentrations of 1.0%, but M. avium was unaffected even after 60 seconds. While M. kansasii and M. tuberculosis were killed by treatment with 2.0% glutaraldehyde for 5 minutes, M. avium was highly resistant to this agent.

CONCLUSION: PVP-I seems to be a useful antiseptic against mycobacteria. The measured activity of antiseptics should be interpreted carefully, due to the potential for interference by artifacts.

Keywords: antiseptic; isodine; mycobacteria; neutralizer; povidone-iodine

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Department of Internal Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan 2: Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Kurume University School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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