Paper Title: Bacteriocidal activity of Handwash products and soaps sold in Port Harcourt, Nigeria – An in vitro study
Authors: Otokunefor K, Onebunne S.C, Onodu B.C.
Background: Hand hygiene is still noted as one of the most important factors essential for control of infectious diseases particularly in hospital settings and soap and water is still of essence, especially when hands are visibly soiled. The use of medicated handwash products is becoming more widespread. These products sometimes claim a better efficacy than plain soap and water. This study set out to determine trends in antibacterial activity of medicated and non-medicated locally sold soap products and bacteriocidal activity of these products against commonly encountered clinical pathogens (Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli). METHODS: Antibacterial activity of 4 handwash and 3 bodywash products was determined using the Agar-well diffusion, minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bacteriocidal concentration tests. RESULTS: At 100% product concentration, both non-medicated handwash products (Pears and Cussons) gave zones of inhibition ranging from 8 – 17 mm and 9 – 12 mm respectively, while the medicated products resulted in zones of inhibition ranging from 23 – 30 mm and 17 – 29 mm. Liquid bodywash products were less inhibitory with no inhibition observed in 66.7% (18/27) of cases than 11.1% (4/36) of cases of the handwash. All handwash products had bacteriocidal activity against all three test strains, while for the bodywash products, no bacteriocidal activity was observed in 4 cases. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the important role soaps particular the medicated versions play in hand hygiene. Further studies involving human volunteers and time-kill assays would be necessary to provide a more complete story of the effectiveness of these products in infection control.