Choosing an appropriate disinfectant for foot mat

Posted by Atesco LTD Admin on

Knowing that not all disinfectants are suitable for all purposes will require a little knowledge in order to make an appropriate choice and minimize the risk of the biosecurity.

Aldehydes 
Glutaraldehyde + Formalaldehyde (“gluts”).
Mode of action:
The mode of action of glutaraldehyde and formaldehyde is almost similar and acts on proteins by denaturation and on nucleic acids by alkylation. The reaction is irreversible and pH-dependent, working better at alkaline pH and less well at neutral or acid pH.

Example: 
Glutaraldehyde is favored by an alkaline pH (e.g. 8.0), but the solution is less stable in such conditions and the disinfectant activity decreases.

Advantage:

  • Very effective against most bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but not against parasite eggs.
  • Less sensitive to the presence of organic matter,
  • Ideal for use in foot mats and foot baths.
  • Relatively inexpensive

Disadvantage:

  • Not effective at low temperature (<5 (C),
  • Irritant and pungent odor,
  • Carcinogenic (formaldehyde) and allergic in contact with skin.
  • Disinfection solution: 1%
Quaternary Ammonium Salts (“quats”).

This group of compounds is excellent against bacteria and fungi, but not effective against nonenveloped viruses (such as Gumboro virus and chicken anemia virus, Aquabirnavirus or Betanodavirus of fish). These disinfectants are relatively insensitive to temperature and organic matter, do not usually have a pungent odor and are excellent in areas where viral kill is not too important i.e. hatcheries and food preparation environments. They are generally used in foot mats rather than footbaths and are effective against bacteria and fungi at low concentrations of 0.5%.

Mode of action:
Structure and function disruption resulting in leakage of cell constituents and cell death.

Advantages:

  • Strong antimicrobial action, colorless, odorless, tasteless, stable, and non-toxic.
  • Cationic (positively charged) detergents.
  • Effective against Gram-positive bacteria, less effective against gram-negative bacteria. Also destroy fungi, amoebas, and enveloped viruses.

Pseudomonas strains that are resistant and can grow in the presence of Quats are a big concern in hospitals.

Disadvantage:

  • Neutralized by soaps and anionic detergents.

Glutaraldehyde + Quaternary Ammonium Salts.
The combination of ‘gluts’ and ‘quats’ as a disinfectant is quite common. Although improving performance at lower temperatures, efficacy against non-enveloped viruses is sacrificed (see quaternary ammonium salts). There are required for a foot mat concentration of 2-6% to be effective against all viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Chlorocresols - Phenols
Use as a foot mat disinfectant and can also is used to help prevent coccidiosis in the cleaned poultry housing.

Mode of action:

Cross-linking, coagulating, and clumping leads to leakage of cellular components and finally the death of the cell.

Advantage:

  • Very effective in the presence of organic matter
  • Effective against bacteria, (especially Gram-positive bacteria) and enveloped viruses.
  • Limited toxicity,
  • Typically effective as a deodorizer.

Disadvantage:

  • Poor to limited residual activity,
  • Not sporicidal

Halogens – Oxidizing disinfectants
Chlorine (bleach, hypochlorite)

Mode of action:

They are oxidizing agents and therefore denature proteins and caused microorganisms death.

Advantage:

  • Chlorine is the most widely used disinfectant in Canada (and the US).
  • Inexpensive disinfectant.
  • They are active against most of the pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, molds, and algae, but not bacterial spores.

Disadvantage:

  • They are rapidly inactivated in the presence of organic matters.
  • Strong oxidizing agent.
  • Disinfection efficiency is temperature depended (at close to 0°C disinfection efficiency is very poor)
  • They are corrosive also to stainless steel surfaces.
  • Frequent refreshing is required.

 

 

The concentration of disinfectant required
to eliminate micro-organisms

Sensitivity

Disinfectant
product %

Non-enveloped
 viruses

Enveloped
viruses

Bacteria

Fungi

Coccidial
oocysts

Organic
matter

Temp
< 5
°

Glutaraldehyde
+ Formaldehyde

1

1

1

1

-

x

xxx

Glutaraldehyde
+ quaternary ammonium salts

0.5 - 1

1 - 3

2 - 4

2 - 6

-

xx

xxx

Chlorocresols (phenol)

4

2

0.5

2

3 - 4

x

xx

Oxidizing disinfectant

0.2 - 1

0.5 - 3

1 - 2

0.5 - 5

-

xxx

 

Quaternary Ammonium Salts

Not effective

1

1

0.1 - 0.5

-

xx

x

Source: comparative data taken from German Veterinary Industry website (www.dvg.de)

 

What concentration of disinfectant should be used?

Always use the concentration recommended by the approval body in the country of manufacture (if in the EU), or use the officially approved rate in the country of use.

A few hints:

  • If using a disinfectant that is sensitive to organic matter, double the normal concentration when using it in disinfection foot mats.
  • Change the disinfectant in the foot mat regularly, especially if it is sensitive to organic matter.
  • If the temperature falls below 4°C on a regular basis and a glutaraldehyde based product is being used, increase the concentration, or change to a product group which is insensitive to low temperatures.

When should disinfectant be renewed in a foot mat?

The simple answer is ‘nobody knows!’
It depends upon:

  • the traffic,
  • The amount of organic matter which has ended up in the foot mat,
  • The type of disinfectant used,
  • If outdoor – could be diluted by rain, or affected by sunlight.
  • Even the water quality used to fill the foot mat may affect the efficacy of the disinfectant. 

Some manufacturers offer a pH indicator to enable users to see if the disinfectant is still useable. At best this will only tell the user the pH of the foot mat, and nothing else (not real effectiveness). 

There would also have to be tested using different water qualities and alkalinities. The only reliable way to maintain effective Biosecurity using a foot mat is to ensure that the correct concentration of disinfectant is used in the foot mat and that it is changed regularly.

The table below could be considered as a general guide.

 

General Replenishment
 to disinfectant /week

Disinfectant

Light soiling

Heavy soiling

Glutaraldehyde
+ Formaldehyde

1

2

Glutaraldehyde
+ quaternary ammonium salts

2

3

Chlorocresols (phenol)

1

2

Oxidizing disinfectant

2 - 4

3 - 7

Quaternary Ammonium Salts

2

3

 

 

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