Bacteria becoming resistant to hospital disinfectants, warn scientists

Bacteria becoming resistant to hospital disinfectants

Hospitals will need to use new strategies to tackle bacteria experts have warned, after finding a type of hospital superbug is becoming increasingly tolerant of alcohol – the key component of current disinfectant hand rubs.

Handwashes based on alcohols such as isopropanol have become commonplace as a method of infection control. But while the move has been linked to benefits, including a fall in rates of hospital infections of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), new research suggests it might also have had unexpected consequences.

Scientists say they have discovered that superbugs known as vancomycin-resistant enterococci, or VRE, appear to be becoming more tolerant to alcohol.

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