Tested EFFICACY All the phases of laboratory tests. How Sychem meets expectations
Almost without exception many disinfectant wipes / sprays / solutions will support their antimicrobial efficacy claims with tightly controlled laboratory tests against specific microbes. These are known as ‘phase 2’ laboratory tests.
Understanding ‘phase 2’ test conditions is an essential element of product evaluation and can help identify the most appropriate disinfectant for you or your business.
For example, a high-log reduction (i.e. an ability to kill the majority of the microbes included in the test), short-contact time, relevant test organism and presence of organic loading (dirt) are key parameters to consider when examining phase 2 laboratory test data.
Sychem’s antimicrobial technology platforms undergo rigorous testing at independent, accredited laboratories in Europe and the US. The result is that all three technology platforms have excellent antimicrobial efficacy profiles.
Efficacy - Are all lab tests the same?
Sychem request the toughest phase 2 test conditions when these products are tested. These include;
- Short contact times – this replicates real world use of disinfectants which typically dry minutes after application
- ‘Dirty’ environmental conditions – ‘dirty’ conditions pose a greater challenge to the disinfectant. Many common disinfectants like bleach and other chlorine based disinfectants are often inactivated where significant organic matter is present such as faeces, urine, blood, animal matter, etc.
- Room temperature – disinfectants tend to work better at higher temperatures so tests performed at 30 or 40oC may not represent actual product performance at 20oC.
- Hard water – disinfectants have to work harder when used with hard water compared to soft water, therefore specifying hard water as part of the test protocol poses a tougher challenge to the disinfectant.
Common variables between phase 2 suspension tests and real world disinfectant use include;
- Delivery method – are suspension tests (where the disinfectant solution is poured into a test tube containing the microbe) relevant for disinfectants delivered onto surfaces via cloths, mops, wipes, sprays, mists, etc.?
- Contact time – are 60 minute wet contact times clinically relevant? Most disinfectants will dry within minutes of application, therefore they are unlikely to have a wet contact time of 60 minutes when used in the real world?
Efficacy – bridging the gap between the laboratory and the real world... phase 3 testing
Tested EFFICACY All the phases of laboratory tests demonstrate how controlled field testing or ‘phase 3 testing’ bridges the gap between laboratory based efficacy and real world product effectiveness and gives manufacturers the chance to demonstrate how their products work in practice.
Predicting how a disinfectant will work in your environment based on how it performs in a test tube is often more art than science. Phase 3 testing removes this guess work as it takes place in an appropriate environment where a known bioburden of a specific organism is exposed to a disinfectant delivered in its normal way.
One such example of phase 3 testing was the evaluation of ULTRA Technology™. The VorTEC™ misting system was used to deliver ULTRA Technology™ into a hospital isolation room containing validated Clostridium difficile spores. In this instance, ULTRA Technology™ proved highly effective against C. diff spores.
Phase 3 testing offers manufacturers and customers significant insight into disinfectant performance in the environment of interest (hospital, food production line, water treatment, school, vehicle etc.). It can assist decision makers when adopting new disinfectants into use by removing the question ‘how will this work in our setting?’.
Sychem recognise that phase 3 testing offers customers the chance to determine whether a product is suitable for adoption into their disinfection protocols. As a result, the phase 3 testing programme for their products is being expanded.