Date Approved

2009

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Health Sciences

Abstract

Clostridium difficile, a non-aerobic spore former, is currently one of the most serious causes of nosocomial infections and antibiotic associated diarrhea (AAD). Due to the resilient nature of spores, its propagation can be difficult to control. Preventing infections through efficient and durable disinfection of hospitals’ facilities would result in diminished contaminations. This project was based on testing the efficacy of a new substance called Goldshield® Antimicrobial (a patented nano-molecular-assembly technology developed at Emory University) against Clostridium difficile. The tests were also done with the aerobic spore forming Bacillus anthracis Sterne.

Goldshield’s active reagents were tested against the isolated spores of C. difficile and B. anthracis Sterne, by the method of environmental sampling. Its durability on a surface (fabric and plastic), was tested through different stressors, such as heat and washes. The spores were applied to surfaces treated with varying amounts of Goldshield.

Results indicate that G.S. 48 inhibited the growth of both organisms under normal conditions and heat. When the surface was washed and the spores reapplied, growth was present in all tested application amounts. Applications of G.S. 48 below 50µl were proportional to the inhibition of growth.

Goldshield proved to be an efficient product in single applications against both organisms, in all tested conditions. Although, its usefulness as a coating system was not satisfactory, given it was easily removed from the surfaces, indicating poor durability. Goldshield could be considered a disinfectant alternative in healthcare settings given its non-toxic and water based composition, but its use as a coating layer is not recommended since it would not bring sustainable results.

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