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Comparative Efficacy of Commercially Available Alcohol-based Handrubs and WHO-Recommended Handrubs: Which is More Critical, Alcohol Content or Product Formulation?

      Alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) are the primary form of hand hygiene in healthcare settings globally. Alcohol level in many products outside the US tends to be higher than those in the US. The formulations provided in the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines on Hand Hygiene contain either 80% ethanol or 75% isopropanol. Recent studies have further suggested that foaming alcohol-based products deliver inferior efficacy compared to other product formats (i.e. gels / liquids). The objective of this study was to determine the relative importance of alcohol concentration alone versus product formulation and format as drivers for antimicrobial efficacy.
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