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Gram-Negative Infections Prevented By Aereus Shield™

Hospital Disinfection Products“Gram-negative bacteria” is the catch-all term for any bacteria that, unsurprisingly, tests negative during a Gram stain (a method for identifying and separating individual bacterium into two larger sets). This group is of particular interest to healthcare facilities because so many of the common healthcare-acquired infections result from exposure to these occasionally antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

By employing the antimicrobial power of copper, Aereus Shield™ is capable of killing gram-negative bacteria and is a welcome addition to any hospital’s disinfection arsenal. Aereus Shield™ is effective enough to kill 99.99% of gram-negative bacteria, including the following common healthcare-acquired infections.

Escherichia Coli

Although more commonly thought of as a reason behind product recalls, Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a known cause of infection in hospital patients. It can survive low temperatures and certain acidic conditions, which allow it to persist and spread.

Infection results in gastrointestinal symptoms—often diarrhoea and/or abdominal pain—and can be severe enough that a patient ends up at risk of dying from dehydration. E. coli can infect patients the same ways it can infect anyone else: from contaminated or undercooked meat, vegetables, dairy, or water, or from improper hand-washing after a bowel movement.

Among hospital patients, E. coli is also responsible for around 90% of all urinary tract infections not caused by obstruction or anatomy. This is partially due to the use of urinary catheters providing normally unavailable avenues for the bacteria to travel into the urinary tract.

In newborns, E. coli can also cause neonatal meningitis by invading the blood stream via the nasopharynx (your nasal tract) or gastrointestinal tract.

Pseudomonas

Pseudomonas is an opportunistic strand of bacteria that most often infects patients with compromised or otherwise weakened immune systems. It can cause infections of the blood and lungs (bacterial pneumonia) and is capable of severely sickening or even killing an already-weakened individual. As a result, pseudomonas is of special concern for patients who are recovering after surgery, have burns, or require the use of breathing machines or catheters.

In addition to causing the most severe reactions in hospital settings due to the prevalence of vulnerable patients, pseudomonas is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, making prevention an even higher importance.

Pseudomonas thrives in water, usually hot tubs or pools that are not properly chlorinated. In hospitals, infections are usually a result of handling equipment that does not get properly cleaned or of a healthcare worker or visitor who either spreads the bacteria to the patient directly.

Acinetobacter

Unlike E. coli, which appears with relative frequency outside hospitals, and pseudomonas, which appears more severely within hospitals, infections caused by the Acinetobacter group of bacteria are found almost entirely within healthcare settings. Specifically, these bacteria occur most often in the extremely ill or those already in intensive care.

Depending on which part of the body Acinetobacter infects, it can cause urinary tract infections, blood or wound infections, bacterial pneumonia, or other illnesses. Another habit the bacteria has is that it can sometimes colonize a patient and multiply within an open wound or tracheotomy site, causing no symptoms but creating the potential to spread elsewhere and cause more severe problems.

Much like pseudomonas, Acinetobacter is commonly spread by person-to-patient or person-to-equipment contamination. Unlike pseudomonas, Acinetobacter is commonly present in water and soil, which creates more avenues for someone to pick up the bacteria in the first place. Patients with diabetes, weak immune systems, open wounds, ventilators, or other invasive devices are at particular risk.

Aereus Technologies is a Canadian biotech company headquartered in Burlington, Ontario. Our research and development into copper alloy-based technology has resulted in the antimicrobial coating, Aereus Shield™. Contact us at 888-633-8460 to learn more about antimicrobial surfaces and how Aereus Shield™ can help enhance healthcare safety.

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Michelle Berelowitz

Michelle Berelowitz has 15+ years commercializing technology start-ups in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor with strong strategic, operational and management skills within both publicly traded and technology based start-up companies. Michelle has a background in manufacturing, ICT and biotech combined with degrees in political science, finance &strategic management and Masters of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology from the University of Waterloo.