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ANTISEPTICS AND DISINFECTANTS FOR VETERINARY CLINICS

Alcohols:
Ethyl alcohol (70% ethanol) and isopropyl alcohol (50% isopropanol)
Isopropanol more potent than ethanol, used as a skin disinfectant and rubefacient.
Rapid-acting antiseptic effects,wide germicidal activity,non corrosive, but-fire hazardous risk
and limited residual activity due to evaporation
Limited activity in the presence of organic matter and not effective against bacterial or fungal
spores
Acids and Alkalies:
Strong mineral acids (HCl, H2SO4, etc) in concentrations of 0.1-1 N used as disinfectants;
corrosive action limits their usefulness.
Acids are used as food preservatives (eg, benzoic acid), antiseptics (eg, boric acid, acetic acid),
fungicides (eg, salicyclic acid, benzoic acid),.
Acetic acid, 1%, used in surgical dressings, and 0.25% acetic acid is a useful antibacterial agent
for irrigation of the urinary tract. At 5%, it is bactericidal to many bacteria and has been used to
treat otitis externa produced by Pseudomonas , Candida , Malassezia , or Aspergillus spp.
Hydroxides of sodium and calcium used as disinfectants, their caustic property usually limits
their application on tissues. A 2% solution of soda lye (contains 94% sodium hydroxide in hot
water) used is a potent caustic . Calcium oxide , ie, lime (hydrated or air-slaked lime), soaked
in water produces Ca(OH)2. are used to disinfect premises.
Chlorhexidine:
Has potent activity against gram-positive, some gram-negative bacteria but not against spores;
activity is enhanced by alcohols, quaternary ammonium compounds, and alkaline pH, and is
depressed by high concentrations of organic matter (pus, blood, etc), hard water, and contact
with cork.
It is incompatible with anionic compounds, including soap.
A 4% emulsion of chlorhexidine gluconate is used as a skin cleanser, a 0.5% (w/v) solution in
70% isopropanol as a general antiseptic, and a 0.5% solution in 70% isopropanol with
emollients as a hand rinse.
Chlorhexidine-alcohol mixtures are particularly effective in that they combine the antiseptic
rapidity of alcohol with the persistence of chlorhexidine.
Because of low potential for systemic or dermal toxicity, chlorhexidine has been incorporated
into shampoos, ointments, skin and wound cleansers, teat dips etc
Hydrogen peroxide: (3%).
Helps to remove pus and cellular debris from wounds; used for cleaning and deodorizing
infected tissue.
Antimicrobial action is of short duration and is limited to the superficial layer of the applied
surface because there is no penetration of the tissue.
Benzoyl peroxide can cause skin irritation;has keratolytic and antiseborrheic activity, which
makes it useful in treating pyoderma in dogs
Potassium permanganate
is an effective algicide (0.01%) and virucide (1%) for disinfection, but concentrations
>1:10,000 tend to irritate tissues.
Staining of tissues is disadvantage. Chocolate brown coloured old solutions indicate the loss of
activity.
Iodine and Iodophores:

Elemental iodine is a potent germicide with a wide spectrum of activity and low toxicity to
tissues. It is poorly soluble in water but readily dissolves in ethanol, which enhances its
antibacterial activity . used as Tincture iodine (strong/weak).
Wide germicidal activity including fungi and bacterial spores, characteristic odor and is
corrosive and has limited activity in the presence off organic matter
Povidone-iodine: slowly release iodine as an antimicrobial agent ;do not sting ,stain. are
nontoxic to tissues but may be corrosive to metals.
Effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi but less so against spores.
Retain good antibacterial activity even in the presence of organic matter, and often
change color when the activity is lost.
Used in teat dips, dairy sanitizers and for various dermal and mucosal infections
Chlorine
Exerts a potent germicidal effect against most bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi ( 0.1 ppm),
but much higher concentrations are required in the presence of organic matter.
Has a strong acid smell, is irritant to the skin and mucous membranes.
Used to disinfect water supplies ,inanimate objects (eg, utensils, bottles, pipelines) in dairies.
Inorganic chlorides include sodium hypochlorite (Dakin's solution) solutions (bleach)and
calcium hypochlorite.
Chlorinated lime (bleaching powder): mixture of calcium hypochlorite and calcium chloride;
used for disinfection of water, livestock premises, destruction and disposal of carcasses and
elimination of pathogens from organic matter.
Phenol (carbolic acid)
Bacteriostatic at 0.1-1%;s bactericidal/fungicidal at 1-2%. The bactericidal activity is enhanced
by warm temperatures and decreased by alkaline medium, lipids, soaps, and cold
temperatures.;
5% solution is strongly irritating, corrosive to tissues.
Oral ingestion/ excess application to skin can cause systemic toxicity.
Cresol : 2% solution of either pure or saponated cresol (Lysol) in hot water is a disinfectant
for inanimate objects
Formaldehyde and Glutaraldehyde
1-10% solution of formaldehyde is commonly used as a disinfectant.
Glutaraldehyde- 1-2% alkaline solution (pH 7.5-8.5) in 70% isopropanol, is a more potent
germicide than 4% formaldehyde.
Used to sterilize surgical and endoscopic instruments,plastic and rubber apparatus.
Cationic detergents
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (eg, benzalkonium chloride, benzathonium chloride,
cetylpyridinium chloride, cetyl pyridinium bromide/cetrimide) whose activity is reduced by
porous or fibrous materials (eg, fabrics, cellulose sponges) that adsorb them
Iinactivated by anionic substances (eg, soaps, proteins, fatty acids, phosphates).
Limited value in presence of blood and tissue debris.
Effective against most of bacteria, some fungi , protozoa but not against viruses and spores.
Aqueous solutions of 1:1,000 to 1:5,000 have good antimicrobial activity, especially at slightly
alkaline pH.
When applied to skin, they may form a film under which microorganisms can survive, which
limits their reliability as antiseptics.
Concentrations >1% are injurious to mucous membranes
Soaps
Antibacterial potency is often enhanced by inclusion of certain antiseptics, eg,
hexachlorophene, phenols, carbanilides, or potassium iodide.

Incompatible with cationic detergents


Chloroxylenols
Parachlorometaxylenol and dichlorometaxylenol are broad-spectrum with more activity against
gram-positive than gram-negative bacteria.;
Active in alkaline pH; however, contact with organic matter diminishes their activity.
5% chloroxylenol solution (in -terpineol, soap, alcohol, and water) is diluted with water (1:4)
for skin sterilization and (1:25 to 1:50) for wound cleansing and irrigation of the uterus and
vagina.
Preferred antiseptics
with
antifungal
activity:
phenols,
chlorhexidine
,
iodine,
povidone
iodine,hypochlorite,cetrimide
with antviral
activity:isopropanol,ethanol,formaldehyde,glutaraldehyde,sodium
hyopochlorite,phenol,potassiumpermanganate,hydrogen peroxide, iodophors.
Recommended antiseptics/disinfectants for hospital/surgery: .
1. 2% Sodium hypochlorite: for gloves, syrienges, needles , blood spills on floor, floor washing. lab
glasswares
2. 2% Benzalkonium chloride: foreceps, thermometer
3. 2% Glutaraldehyde: Instruments-catheters, laryngoscope, endotracheal tubes
4. 6% Hydrogen peroxide: removal of blood clots from tubes,catheters, dressing wounds
5. Benzalkonium chloride: hand wash, foreceps, catheters , instruments
6. Phenol: disinfecting floors,walls, sanitary rooms.
7. Povidone iodine: surgical scrub, painting skin, dressing, hand wash.
8. Ethyl alcohol: antiseptic at injection site, furniture disinfection
RELATIVE EFFICACY OF CLASSES OF ANTISEPTICS AND DISINFECTANTS.

Type
activity

of

Alco
hol

Classs of antiseptics/disinfectants
Iodine,
Chlorine Chlorhexidine Quaternary
Iodophors
ammonium
compounds
+++
++
+++
++
++
+++
+++
+

Bactericidal
++
Lipid enveloped
++
Virucidal
Nonenveloped
+
virucidal
Sporicidal
+
Effecive
in
++
+++
presence
of
soap
Effecive
in
+*
++
presence hard
water
Effecive
in
presence
of
organic material
*- not to be diluted in water

Glutaraldehyde

+++
+++

+++

++

+
++

++
++

++

++

+++

++

****