While bacterial infections are well reported, infections caused by fungi receive less attention, despite being just as impactful and dangerous.
A new study has demonstrated how NitroPep antimicrobial coating can stop the spread of fungal infection, particularly in healthcare settings.
The impact of fungal infections
Globally, fungal diseases kill more than 1.5 million people and affect almost 1 billion.
What’s more, while the majority of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are caused by antimicrobial resistant bacterial pathogens, up to 20% of HAIs are caused by fungal species.
Despite this, they remain an understudied source of HAIs, with existing preventative methods proving to have limited efficacy.
Testing the anti-fungal efficacy of NitroPep antimicrobial coating
NitroPep is a patented coating that binds the broad-spectrum antimicrobial biocide chlorhexidine to surfaces. It stops the spread of infection by providing a physical method of destroying pathogens on contact, breaking the chain of transmission. It has a higher than 99.9% kill rate for bacterial pathogens.
The new study assessed its anti-fungal efficacy by applying opportunistic fungal pathogens Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans to a novel antimicrobial surface (AMS) modified with NitroPep antimicrobial coating. In this case, a stainless steel surface was used, the common material of choice in healthcare settings.
As a control, the pathogens were also applied to a stainless steel surface with no antimicrobial coating applied and both surfaces were then assessed over the course of an hour.
Rapid protection from fungal pathogens
The AMS steel demonstrated complete killing of both pathogens within 15 minutes. In contrast, over the course of the whole hour, no pathogens were killed on the control steel where no antimicrobial coating had been applied.
The AMS was also significantly more effective than commercially available alternatives, such as copper and silver.
Indeed, copper and silver-treated surfaces were comparable to the untreated steel control: demonstrating no measurable anti-fungal effect during the time course used in this experiment.
Stopping the spread of fungal infection
This study shows that an AMS treated with NitroPep antimicrobial coating can prevent surface-transmitted infections, not just from bacterial pathogens as demonstrated previously , but also from opportunistic fungal pathogens.
By killing fungal pathogens so effectively and so quickly, it can minimize cross-contamination from high-frequency touch surfaces, such as door handles, making it an efficacious solution to the spread of infection in healthcare settings.
To find out more about NitroPep’s antimicrobial coating and how it can be applied to benefit your business, get in touch.