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Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Efficacy of Novel Antiseptic Nasal Swab Applied to Subject's Nares Colonized with Staphylococcus Aureus

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      Background

      Alcohol-based nasal antiseptics have recently been developed as an alternative to antibiotics. With the emergence of antibiotic resistant organisms and an effort towards antibiotic stewardship, the use of topical antiseptics for nasal decolonization of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) has become a subject of interest in healthcare. This study evaluated the antimicrobial efficacy of an alcohol-based antiseptic nasal swab for the reduction of S. aureus and total bacteria in the nares of human subjects.

      Methods

      Baseline samples were taken by swabbing both nares and pooling the samples. The S. aureus and total bacteria levels were determined by plating the samples on HardyCHROM™ and/or Tryptic Soy Agar for 24 and 48 hours respectively. Subjects had both nares randomly treated with a test (62% Ethanol) or control (Saline) nasal swab. Bacterial samples were taken from both nares 30 seconds post-application. S. aureus and total bacteria levels were similarly determined. Reductions in bacterial counts were calculated for each subject by subtracting the CFUs after treatment from the baseline CFUs.

      Results

      Data from 58 subjects (38 test and 20 control) who were screened for ≥ 3.7 log10 colony forming units (CFUs) of S. aureus and total bacteria was analyzed. Antiseptic treatment reduced S. aureus colony forming units from baseline by 98.8% compared to a 39.7% reduction in nares treated with the control swab. Antiseptic treatment reduced total bacteria colony forming units from baseline by 91.9% compared to a 32.4% reduction in nares treated with the control swab.

      Conclusions

      This alcohol-based antiseptic was shown to be effective in reducing S. aureus and total bacteria levels in the human nares after only one application. Nasal decolonization with alcohol-based antiseptic swabs may provide an effective and safe alternative to povidone-iodine (PVP) or antibiotic treatment to reduce nasal bacterial levels.
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