1.1 C
New York
Monday, February 26, 2024

Chlorine-releasing brokers in medical settings fail to fight Clostridioides difficile spores

In a latest examine printed in Microbiology, researchers display that Clostridioides difficile spores uncovered to sodium hypochlorite options at clinically related concentrations remained viable with no morphological modifications and might be recovered from affected person robes and surgical scrubs, even after biocide publicity.

Research: Clostridioides difficile spores tolerate disinfection with sodium hypochlorite disinfectant and stay viable inside surgical scrubs and robe materials. Picture Credit score: Kateryna Kon / Shutterstock.com


Clostridioides difficile, which is an anaerobic, spore-forming, and Gram-positive bacterium, is the main international explanation for antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Antibiotic therapy typically results in the disruption of the intestine microbiome and, subsequently, the colonization and development of C. difficile.

Whereas that is noticed in solely 4% of adults, the prevalence of C. difficile infections is as excessive as 70% in kids. Moreover, the signs range from asymptomatic to extreme diarrhea and might result in life-threatening poisonous megacolon, pseudomembranous colitis, and even demise.

Statistics from the US and Europe point out that C. difficile infections trigger over 29,000 and eight,000 deaths every year, respectively. Antibiotics equivalent to fidaxomicin, metronidazole, and vancomycin are sometimes used to deal with C. difficile infections; nonetheless, antibiotic resistance in C. difficile is a rising explanation for concern.

Moreover, the excessive transmissibility of C. difficile spores, mixed with the excessive reinfection and recurrence charges, in addition to resistance to disinfection strategies equivalent to desiccation, radiation, ultraviolet (UV) mild, and biocides, have made C. difficile infections a critical concern within the healthcare setting.

In regards to the examine

Within the current examine, researchers look at the efficacy of the chlorine-releasing agent sodium hypochlorite as a disinfectant in opposition to C. difficile spores. Chlorine-releasing brokers are an environment friendly and low-cost disinfection methodology used to disinfect surfaces contaminated by feces, blood, or different bodily fluid spills.

Present medical pointers within the U.Ok. suggest the usage of chlorine-releasing brokers at concentrations of 1,000 components per million (ppm) for about 10 minutes of contact time with the floor doubtlessly contaminated with C. difficile. Of the chlorine-releasing brokers used within the healthcare setting, sodium dichloroisocyanurate and sodium hypochlorite are the 2 commonest brokers.

Nonetheless, latest research, together with earlier research by the identical workforce of researchers, have proven that C. difficile spores exhibit resistance in opposition to sodium dichloroisocyanurate at 1,000 ppm, thus highlighting the necessity to take a look at the efficacy of sodium hypochlorite in opposition to C. difficile spores.

The researchers additionally examined the flexibility of C. difficile spores to be transferred from private protecting tools (PPE) equivalent to affected person robes and surgical scrubs earlier than and after biocide therapy utilizing a plate switch assay. To this finish, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to find out the presence of C. difficile spores inside the material of affected person robes and surgical scrubs.

Spores of three strains of C. difficile that had been thought-about clinically related had been cultured and used within the examine. Section distinction microscopy was used to find out if the spores had been pure.

Spores at concentrations of 100 million/ml had been uncovered to sodium hypochlorite at concentrations of 1,000, 5,000, and 10,000 ppm for 10 minutes. The biocide exercise was then neutralized and the spores had been inoculated into an agar medium to check for viability.

Items of cloth from surgical scrubs or robes typically utilized by sufferers had been additionally handled with C. difficile spores. A plate switch assay was used to check the transferability of C. difficile spores.

Research findings

The spores from all three clinically related C. difficile strains had been tolerant to sodium hypochlorite therapy with vital spore restoration charges. Furthermore, a discount of just one log unit within the spores after therapy was noticed. Even after therapy with 10,000 ppm of sodium hypochlorite, the discount in restoration charges was low for all strains.

SEM evaluation demonstrated that untreated spores of all three strains exhibited morphological options, equivalent to a easy outer floor, which is indicative of an exosporium. The visualization of spores after therapy with sodium hypochlorite indicated no change in morphology and no seen harm to the outer structure of the spore. This implies that C. difficile spores remained viable and unaltered, even after being handled with sodium hypochlorite at concentrations as excessive as 10,000 ppm.

The plate switch assays additionally confirmed that C. difficile spores can unfold via contact between contaminated PPE material and a hydrophilic floor. Moreover, robes worn by sufferers and surgical scrubs may act as fomites within the transmission of C. difficile spores.


The present examine highlights the resistance of C. difficile spores to chlorine-releasing brokers like sodium hypochlorite which can be routinely used for disinfection of contaminated surfaces in medical settings. Taken collectively, these findings emphasize the pressing must establish different disinfection methods and brokers which can be efficient in opposition to C. difficile spores.

Journal reference:

  • Ahmed, H., & Joshi, L. T. (2023). Clostridioides difficile spores tolerate disinfection with sodium hypochlorite disinfectant and stay viable inside surgical scrubs and robe materials. Microbiology 169(11). doi:10.1099/mic.0.001418

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles