Microbiological evaluation of a range of disinfectant products to control mixed-species biofilm contamination in a laboratory model of a dental unit water system

J. T. Walker*, D. J. Bradshaw, M. R. Fulford, Phillip Marsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dental unit water system (DUWS) tubing harbors complex multispecies biofilms that are responsible for high microbial levels at the distal outlet. The aim of this study was to use an established biofilm laboratory model to simulate biofouling of DUWS to evaluate practical, cost-effective, and evidence-based methods of microbial decontamination. Reproducible biofilms were developed in the model over 14 days; decontamination was assessed using total viable counts (TVC) and microscopic-image analysis techniques to view the inner surface of tubing. Flushing did not reduce the biofilm coverage or TVC. Combizyme and ozone did not completely eliminate the viable bacteria (70 and 65% reduction in biofilm TVC, respectively), nor did they remove the biofilm (45 and 57% reduction in biofilm coverage, respectively). Chlorhexidine and Bio2000 (active agent: ethanol and chlorhexidine), Tegodor and Gigasept Rapid (aldehyde based), and Grotanol (hydroxide based) completely eliminated the TVC but did not completely remove biofilm (31, 53 33, 34, and 64.9% reduction of biofilm coverage, respectively). Other products including Grotanol Flussig (phenol based), Betadine (povidone-iodine based), Alpron (chlorite based), and the hydroxide-containing products Sporklenz, Sterilex Ultra, Dialox, Sterilox, Sanosil, Oxigenal, and Grotanat Bohrerbad resulted in a 100% reduction in the biofilm TVC and a >95% reduction in biofilm coverage. The study demonstrated that while many disinfectants achieve a sufficient reduction in TVC they may not necessarily remove unwanted biofilm from the tubing surfaces as tested in this laboratory-controlled biofilm model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3327-3332
Number of pages6
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume69
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003

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