Investigation of Antibiotic and Antibacterial Susceptibility and Resistance in Staphylococcus from the Skin of Users and Non-Users of Antibacterial Wash Products in Home Environments

Cole, Addison, Dulaney, Leese

Abstract

Background

 

Antibacterial wash products have come under scrutiny as potential contributors to the problem of antibiotic resistance. This study investigated the extent of, and relationship between, antibiotic and antibacterial resistance in human skin bacteria isolated from individuals in the home environment, relative to their routine use or non-use of antibacterial hand and bath soaps, and other antibacterial body wash products.

Methods

 

Qualified study participants (n=210) were randomly selected from qualified applicant pools and comprised three groups of 70 each: 1) those that routinely used wash products containing triclosan (TCS); 2) those that frequently used products containing triclocarban (TCC); and 3) a control group that used no antibacterial wash products. A 64 cm2 composite swab sample was collected from each participant’s forearm skin and processed for coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CNS) species and S. aureus (SA). Standard antibiotic and antibacterial minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) testing was performed on all 317 isolates (301 CNS; 16 SA).


Results

 

There was no increased antibiotic resistance in Staphylococcus isolates from groups regularly using wash products containing triclocarban (TCC) or triclosan (TCS), as compared with participants using wash products containing no TCC or TCS. Additionally, none of the 317 study isolates were resistant to vancomycin, and the rate of methicillin resistant S. aureus (MRSA) detected in the TCS/TCC groups was less than that in the non-user group, and appreciably less than that reported in the literature for both hospital inpatient and outpatient isolates of SA.

 

Additionally, the data showed a definitive lack of antibiotic/antibacterial cross-resistance when the most resistant staphylococci in each category were comparatively assessed across the three participant groups.

Conclusion

 

This randomized community study of resident skin Staphylococcus has shown no increased antibiotic resistance in participant groups regularly using wash products containing triclocarban (TCC) or triclosan (TCS), as compared with participants using wash products containing no TCC or TCS. These study results confirm similar findings from recent assessments of antibiotic and antibacterial resistance in home environments (Aiello et al, 2005; Cole et al, 2003), and further discount the speculative claim that the use of antibacterial wash products contribute to the selection and propagation of drug-resistant bacteria on human skin.

Authors

 

Cole - Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Addison - Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC

Dulaney - Applied Environmental, Inc., Cary NC

Leese - Restoration Sciences, Cary, NC

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

Investigation of Antibiotic and Antibacterial Susceptibility and Resistance in Staphylococcus from the Skin of Users and Non-Users of Antibacterial Wash Products in Home Environments:  Created on October 27th, 2011.  Last Modified on October 27th, 2011

2 Comments

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Bridget Gardner · 7 years ago

Thank you for this information. I would be grateful if CIRI could now address the burning question of whether it is better to use anti-bacterial soap (containing Triclosan) or does plain soap and water work just as well? Most information I have found suggests that it is entirely dependent on the effectiveness of the process.

Perhaps you could repeat the same experiment and compare the efficacy of both test groups with a bacterial count on high contact surfaces in the immediate vicinity (i.e., door handles), and on skin after washing hands.

Thank you, Bridget Gardner.

October 27th, 2011 | 10:16pm Reply
Michael Berry · 7 years ago

Excellent work and important information. Quantification beats speculation any day. Just the kind of science based information CIRI needs to keep publishing. Keep up the good work.

Dr Mike Berry
Chapel Hill, NC

October 27th, 2011 | 7:51pm Reply

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