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A pilot study of the in vitro antimicrobial activity and in vivo residual activity of chlorhexidine and acetic acid/boric acid impregnated cleansing wipes

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


Background: Topical antimicrobials are recommended for first line treatment of surface and superficial infections in dogs. This is especially important given the increasing prevalence of antimicrobial resistant infections. Antimicrobial wipes have become popular, but there are a lack of controlled studies assessing their in vitro antimicrobial and in vivo residual activity. We aimed to assess the antimicrobial efficacy of two commercial antimicrobial wipes against frequently isolated pathogens. Methods: Ten clinical and one reference isolate each of meticillin-susceptible Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MSSP), meticillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP), Escherichia coli (EC), extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producing E. coli (ESBL-EC), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and Malassezia pachydermatis (MP) were tested using a modified Kirby-Bauer technique. Each isolate was tested against 6mm discs of chlorhexidine (CHX) and acetic acid/boric acid (AABA) wipes, and positive and negative controls either overnight (bacteria) or for 3 days ( Malassezia ). Healthy dogs were treated with the wipes and distilled water on a randomised flank (n=5 each). Hair samples (1cm; 0.1g) taken at days 0, 1 and 3 were inoculated with an isolate of each organism. Zones of inhibition (ZI) were measured.Results: All isolates produced confluent growth with AABA and control wipes, except for the cleansing wipes and MP (median ZI 12mm; 95% CI 8.2-15.8). The median (95% CI) CHX wipe ZIs (mm) were: MP 48.0 (47.0-49.0), MSSP 15.6(14.2-17.0), MRSP 14.0 (13.6-14.4), EC 13.6 (12.0-15.2) and ESBL-EC 10.0 (9.4-10.6). PA showed confluent growth. The differences between the bacterial isolates was significant (Kruskal-Wallis p<0.0001; post-tests MSSP=MRSP=EC>EBSL-EC>PA). Confluent growth was visible with all the hair samples. Conclusion: CHX but not AABA showed in vitro efficacy against MSSP, MRSP, ECand MP. ESBL-EC were less susceptible and there was no activity against PA. There was no residual activity on hair. Additional studies are required to determine efficacy of these products in clinically affected patients.

    Research areas

  • Topical, Antimicrobial wipe, Chlorhexidine, Acetic acid, Boric acid, Microbial infection, Cutaneous, Dog

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