SAN DIEGO — The use of quaternary ammonium spray disinfectant and disinfecting wipes at child care centers significantly reduced the amount of antibiotic use in these children, according to data presented at ICAAC 2015.
“The best friend a germ has is a child’s fingers,” researcher Charles P. Gerba, PhD, of the epidemiology and biostatistics department at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, said in a news release. “Common colds, norovirus, influenza, hepatitis A and other highly infectious pathogens — including emerging diseases, and a host of bacterially caused illnesses all can add to the disease burden in child care settings, at home, and throughout the community. The trick is to use [ammonium chloride (quat-)] based products that carry EPA registrations for efficacy against the pathogens known to cause illness in these settings.”
The researchers implemented the use of quaternary ammonium spray disinfectant and disinfecting wipes as an intervention at six child care centers. Six other centers were used for a control group. The intervention group contained 206 children; the control group contained 196 children. Data on antibiotic use was collected by contacting the parents of study participants and through questionnaires.
The researchers said antibiotic use in the intervention group was 32% percent lower (95% CI, 0.54-0.86) than in the control group. This led them to say this intervention has the potential to protect children at child care facilities from bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumonia, the primary cause of pediatric meningitis and community-acquired pneumonia.
“The germiest place I can think of is child care centers,” Gerba said. “We know that attending child care puts children at significant risk of exposure to a host of infectious pathogens, including antibiotic-resistant S. pneumoniae.” – by David Costill
Reference: Bronson-Lowe DL, et al. The Impact of an Enhanced Disinfection Intervention on Antibiotic Use in Child Care Centers. Presented at: Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; Sept. 17-21, 2015; San Diego.
Disclosure: Gerba reports serving as a research contractor for Clorox.