Performance of ultramicrofibre cleaning technology with or without addition of a novel copper-based biocide


      This study compared the bacterial removal performance of ultramicrofibre cloths and mops (UMF) moistened with water (UMF+water), with those moistened with a novel copper-based biocide (UMF+CuWB50, 300 ppm) in several working hospital environments, specifically accident and emergency (A&E) and three other wards. A total of 13 defined sampling sites (10 sites per ward) were sampled in order to retrieve, culture, and enumerate total viable (bacterial) counts (TVC) for each site. We sampled 1 h before, and 1 and 4 h after, cleaning three times per week. The trial ran for 7 weeks. Two wards were cleaned with UMF+water for 3 weeks, and UMF+CuWB50 for 4 weeks. The reverse applied to the other two wards in a cross-over design fashion, to eliminate ward- and time-specific bias. Multivariate statistical analyses were used to establish extent and significance of any perceived differences, and to eliminate the effects of potential confounders. Cleaning with UMF+water reduced TVC on the test surfaces by 30%, whereas cleaning with TVC+CuWB50 reduced TVC by 56%. CuWB50 had two separate effects; a direct antibacterial effect (evident shortly after cleaning), and a residual antibacterial effect that lasted approximately 2 weeks. The residual effect requires regular application of CuWB50 if it is to persist. This ‘real life’ hospital implementation study demonstrates encouraging microbiological cleaning performance for UMF, which is further enhanced with CuWB50.


      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Journal of Hospital Infection
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Hota B.
        Contamination, disinfection, and cross-colonization: are hospital surfaces reservoirs for nosocomial infection?.
        Clin Infect Dis. 2004; 39: 1182-1189
        • Huang S.S.
        • Datta R.
        • Platt R.
        Risk of acquiring antibiotic-resistant bacteria from prior room occupants.
        Arch Intern Med. 2006; 166: 1945-1951
        • Boyce J.M.
        Environmental contamination makes an important contribution to hospital infection.
        J Hosp Infect. 2007; 65: 50-54
        • Dancer S.J.
        Importance of the environment in meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus acquisition: the case for hospital cleaning.
        Lancet Infect Dis. 2008; 8: 101-113
        • Verity P.
        • Wilcox M.H.
        • Fawley W.
        • Parnell P.
        Prospective evaluation of environmental contamination by Clostridium difficile in isolation side rooms.
        J Hosp Infect. 2001; 49: 204-209
        • Kramer A.
        • Schwebke I.
        • Kampf G.
        How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review.
        BMC Infect Dis. 2006; 6: 130
        • Sexton T.
        • Clarke P.
        • O'Neill E.
        • Dillane T.
        • Humphreys H.
        Environmental reservoirs of Staphylococcus aureus in isolation rooms: correlation with patient isolates and implications for hospital hygiene.
        J Hosp Infect. 2006; 62: 187-194
        • Boyce J.M.
        • Pittet D.
        Guidelines for hand hygiene in health-care settings.
        Am J Infect Control. 2002; 30: S1-S46
        • Dancer S.J.
        Mopping up hospital infection.
        J Hosp Infect. 1999; 43: 85-100
        • Rutala W.A.
        • Gergen M.F.
        • Weber D.J.
        Microbiologic evaluation of microfiber mops for surface disinfection.
        Am J Infect Control. 2007; 35: 569-573
        • White L.F.
        • Dancer S.J.
        • Robertson C.
        A microbiological evaluation of hospital cleaning methods.
        Int J Environ Health Res. 2007; 17: 285-295
        • Russell A.D.
        Bacterial adaptation and resistance to antiseptics, disinfectants, and preservatives is not a new phenomenon.
        J Hosp Infect. 2004; 57: 97-104
        • Thorsteinsson T.
        • Loftsson T.
        • Masson M.
        Soft antibacterial agents.
        Curr Med Chem. 2003; 10: 1129-1136
        • Nilsen S.K.
        • Dahl I.
        • Jorgenson O.
        • Schneider T.
        Microfibre and ultramicrofibre cloths, their physical characteristics, cleaning effect, abrasion on surfaces, friction, and wear resistance.
        Build Environ. 2002; 37: 1373-1378
        • Moore G.
        • Griffith C.
        A laboratory evaluation of the decontamination properties of microfibre cloths.
        J Hosp Infect. 2006; 64 (379–385)
      1. Wren MWD, Rollins MSM, Jeanes A, Hall TJ, Coën PG, Gant VA. Removing bacteria from hospital surfaces: a laboratory comparison of ultramicrofibre and standard cloths. J Hosp Infect 2009;70:265–271.

        • Gant V.A.
        • Wren M.W.D.
        • Rollins M.S.M.
        • Jeanes A.
        • Hickok S.S.
        • Hall T.J.
        Three novel highly charged copper-based biocides: safety and efficacy against healthcare-associated organisms.
        J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007; 60: 294-299
        • Senn S.J.
        Cross-over trials in clinical research.
        Wiley, Chichester1993
      2. Hosmer D.W. Lemeshow S. Applied logistic regression. 2nd edn. Wiley, New York2000
        • Cooper R.A.
        • Griffith C.J.
        • Malik R.E.
        • Obee P.
        • Looker N.
        Monitoring the effectiveness of cleaning in four British hospitals.
        Am J Infect Control. 2007; 35: 338-341
        • Moore G.
        • Hall T.J.
        • Wilson A.P.R.
        • Gant V.A.
        The efficacy of the inorganic copper-based biocide CuWB50 is compromised by hard water.
        Lett Appl Microbiol. 2008; 46: 655-660