Wearing special gloves might decrease the risk of spreading infections

One million of the 35 million patients hospitalized in the U.S. each year develop an infection that can be traced to the hospital environment. Bacterial infections are also responsible for 30% of all cases of food poisoning each year. So it’s important to find simple yet effective ways to reduce this risk.

During the recent Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), Dr. Ruth Reitzel from the University of Texas reported that using antimicrobial gloves by healthcare workers reduced the spread of multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcocus aureus (MRSA) by 100% after short-term exposure.

The researchers coated disposable gloves with a combination of antiseptics that included brilliant green dye and chlorhexidine (Gardine). After the gloves were exposed to the two pathogens they found a 100% kill of both bacteria in the coated gloves in just 30 seconds.

Importantly, the study was not conducted in patients, but in a laboratory. Next stop, clinical trials.

If all goes well, the use of these gloves in hospitals, restaurants, school cafeterias, and food packing plants, could reduce the risk of food poisoning.

10/10/06 18:09 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.