While developing a new protein removal test for the quality control of surgical instrument cleaning, it was noted that alcohol firmly binds blood to stainless steel. Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease is one of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) that has been transmitted between humans and chimpanzees by electroencephalogram electrodes, previously 'sterilized' using ethanol and formaldehyde. Although ethanol has a bactericidal action, it also binds protein to metal. Prion proteins found in TSE are thought to be the causal agents of spongiform disease and it is likely that these proteins are also bound to the stainless steel of surgical instruments by alcohols. Where spongiform disease is a possibility, alcohol, and probably formaldehyde, should not be used to decontaminate neurosurgical instruments.
- Blood/drug effects
- Blood-Borne Pathogens
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome/prevention & control
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome/transmission
- Equipment Contamination
- Stainless Steel/chemistry
- Surgical Instruments