Microbiologist Gareth Williams at Cardiff University, UK, discovered something disturbing about antibacterial wipes: they may actually spread drug-resistant bacteria rather than kill them!
The research, which focused on the use of antibacterial wipes in hospitals, show that poor hospital practices can actually spread the dangerous methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA):
Experts have been saying for years that poor hospital practices spread dangerous bacteria, and yet many studies have shown that health care workers, including doctors and nurses, often fail to even wash their hands as directed.
The findings from a study of intensive care units at two Welsh hospitals suggest that even cleaning with antimicrobial wipes may not be enough depending on how staff use them.
The researchers found that many health care workers cleaned multiple surfaces near patients, such as bed rails, monitors and tables with a single wipe and risked sweeping the infections around rather than cleaning them up.
"We found that the most effective way to prevent the risk of MRSA spread in hospital wards is to ensure the wipe is used only once on one surface," Williams said.