P. 36-38 /

Antimicrobial surfaces: addressing the intended application

Manchester Metropolitan University, School of Biology, Chemistry and Health ScienceChester St., Manchester, M1 5GD, United Kingdom


The article considers some of the limitations of“hygienic” antimicrobial surfaces used in the environment,particularly in terms of validating their effectiveness at pointof use. Although it is often simple to visualise in vitro thediffusion of an antimicrobial from a surface, via the resultantinhibition of target organisms, it is less easy to demonstrateantimicrobial properties of a surface that is exposed to theair. The presence of moisture is often essential to achieve anantimicrobial effect, and minimum required moisture levelsare not easy to determine. The presence of organic materialcan also affect the activity of a given antimicrobial. Clinicaltrials can reveal overall reduction in counts, but are costly.Thus there is a real need for appropriate methodologiesthat reveal effectiveness of a treated sur face in theenvironment for which it was intended.