Background: Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have a major impact on public health worldwide. Particularly, hospital surfaces contaminated with bacterial pathogens are often the origin of both sporadic cases and outbreaks of HAIs. It has been demonstrated that copper surfaces reduce the microbial burden of high touch surfaces in the hospital environment. Here we report the antimicrobial characterization of a novel composite coating with embedded copper particles, named Copper Armour™. Methods: The Copper Armour™ bactericidal activity was evaluated in in vitro assays against several bacterial pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. Additionally, its antimicrobial properties were also evaluated in a pilot study over a nine-week period at an adult intensive care unit. For this, four high touch surfaces, including bed rails, overbed table, bedside table and IV Pole, were coated with Cooper Armour™, and its microbial burden was determined over a nine-week period. Results: Copper Armour™ coated samples showed an in vitro reduction in bacterial burden of > 99.9% compared to control samples. Moreover, pilot study results indicate that Copper Armour™ significantly reduces the level of microbial contamination on high-touch surfaces in the hospital environment, as compared with standard surfaces. Conclusions: Based on its antimicrobial properties, Copper Armour™ is a novel self-sanitizing coating that exhibits bactericidal activity against important human pathogens and significantly reduces the microbial burden of hospital surfaces. This composite could be used as a self-sanitizing coating to complement infection control strategies in healthcare facilities.
- Antimicrobial copper
- Copper-based composite
- Healthcare-associated infections
- High-touch surfaces
- Self-sanitizing coating