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The University of Southampton
Global Network for Anti-Microbial Resistance and Infection Prevention

Reducing infection risk when cleaning surgical instruments

Published: 16 November 2020
Surgical Instrument

A collaboration between the University of Southampton and Sloan Water Technology Ltd has published the findings on reducing infection risk when cleaning surgical instruments. The study was funded by the Brian Mercer Award, the Royal Society’s premier award for innovation, Global-NAMRIP, and EPSRC’s Network for Antimicrobial Action, ‘Bridging the Gap’ programme (EP/M027260/1). It demonstrated that the by adding ultrasound to a normal stream of water, it was possible to achieve efficient removal of the different prion strains from surgical stainless steel surfaces. Furthermore, reduced levels of protease-susceptible and protease -resistant prion protein were detected in recovered supernatant. These findings indicate that this invention is an effective infection-prevention measure, and has the potential to reduce hospital-acquired infections. The paper published on these findings is:

Secker, T. J., Leighton, T. G., Offin, D. G., Birkin, P. R., Herve, R. C. and Keevil, C. W. (2020) A cold water, ultrasonic activated stream efficiently removes proteins and prion-associated amyloid from surgical stainless steel. Journal of Hospital Infection , 106(4), 649-456 (doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2020.09.021 ).

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