Germ-killing vapour

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Published: 21 November 2008  08:00 AM
Source: The Engineer Online

A researcher at Northampton University’s School of Health has developed a natural microbial vapour that has shown to be effective against a range of bacteria.

Dr Katie Fisher, a postdoctoral researcher who was recently presented with a House of Commons award for excellence in research to prevent hospital acquired infections, made the discovery when working on her PhD research project.

‘The vapour is completely natural, which means it is safe to use on food and crops. It has the potential to reduce spoilage of crops during storage/transport and pathogens on fresh produce, thus reducing the potential for food poisoning from these foodstuffs,’ said Dr Fisher.

It has shown to be effective against C.difficile and its spores, Staphylococcus sp., and vancomycin resistant Enterococcus sp. (VRE), as well as a range of fungal pathogens and spores.

‘It is a natural alternative to some of the toxic chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, which are used in hospitals, and has applications in the clinical arena for the decontamination of surfaces and air, therefore reducing hospital acquired infections,’ added Dr Fisher.

Tests on the vapour have shown it reduces bacteria on surfaces by 99.9 per cent in 24 hours and by 99.9 per cent on food in 45 seconds.

With the help of Northampton's University’s Knowledge Exchange department, a patent has been filed on the antimicrobial vapour, and the University's School of Health is now seeking funding from the food or clinical industries to commercialise the research.



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