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Whisky, microwave or hairdryer? Exploring the most efficient way to reduce bacterial colonisation on contaminated toothbrushes


Patcas, R; Zbinden, R; Schätzle, M; Schmidlin, P R; Zehnder, M (2018). Whisky, microwave or hairdryer? Exploring the most efficient way to reduce bacterial colonisation on contaminated toothbrushes. British Dental Journal, 225(11):1007-1010.

Abstract

Aims It is the holiday season, but your toothbrush does not look very festive. It is damp and has been used and contaminated by someone else. To rectify this heinous crime, this study investigates the effectiveness of three household objects to disinfect toothbrushes. Design In-vitro study performed under conditions simulating everyday life. Materials and methods Twenty toothbrushes were contaminated using a mixture of saliva and trypticase soy broth containing Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis. These contaminated toothbrushes were submerged in whisky, cooked in a microwave oven, or exposed to the hot air stream of a hairdryer, separately. Each treatment was performed on five toothbrushes for one minute. Untreated specimens (n = 5) served as controls. Toothbrushes were subsequently sonicated in sterile physiological saline, which was plated on selective agars. Bacterial counts were graded as low, medium, or high. Results Residual contamination was influenced by the disinfectant applied, both in E. coli (p <0.001) and E. faecalis (p = 0.019). Microwave cooking achieved highest decontamination, while whisky had no significant effect on bacterial counts over no treatment (p = 0.8). Hot air showed some limited effectiveness under current conditions. Conclusions Microwave oven cooking appears to be a simple, cheap, and effective way to reduce bacterial contamination of your toothbrush.

Abstract

Aims It is the holiday season, but your toothbrush does not look very festive. It is damp and has been used and contaminated by someone else. To rectify this heinous crime, this study investigates the effectiveness of three household objects to disinfect toothbrushes. Design In-vitro study performed under conditions simulating everyday life. Materials and methods Twenty toothbrushes were contaminated using a mixture of saliva and trypticase soy broth containing Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis. These contaminated toothbrushes were submerged in whisky, cooked in a microwave oven, or exposed to the hot air stream of a hairdryer, separately. Each treatment was performed on five toothbrushes for one minute. Untreated specimens (n = 5) served as controls. Toothbrushes were subsequently sonicated in sterile physiological saline, which was plated on selective agars. Bacterial counts were graded as low, medium, or high. Results Residual contamination was influenced by the disinfectant applied, both in E. coli (p <0.001) and E. faecalis (p = 0.019). Microwave cooking achieved highest decontamination, while whisky had no significant effect on bacterial counts over no treatment (p = 0.8). Hot air showed some limited effectiveness under current conditions. Conclusions Microwave oven cooking appears to be a simple, cheap, and effective way to reduce bacterial contamination of your toothbrush.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Microbiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:14 December 2018
Deposited On:31 Jan 2019 14:48
Last Modified:03 Feb 2019 06:49
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0007-0610
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bdj.2018.1030
PubMed ID:30547935

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