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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Surgery 1/2015

Antibacterial activity of a sterile antimicrobial polyisoprene surgical glove against transient flora following a 2-hours simulated use

BMC Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2015
MD Johannes Leitgeb, MD Rupert Schuster, Bit New Yee, Pui Fong Chee, MD Julian-Camill Harnoss, MD Peter Starzengruber, MD Michael Schäffer, MD Ojan Assadian
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

Prof. Assadian is member of the Hutchinson santé’s and Mölnlycke’s medical advisory board and declares having received consulting and lecture fees travel compensation, and speakers honoraria from Altrazeal Europe Ltd., B. Braun Melsungen AG, Ethicon Ltd., Paul Hartmann AG, Quantum Management & Service GmbH, and Schülke & Mayr GmbH in the past; Bit-New Yee and Pui-Fong Chee are employed by Ansell Shah Alam, Ansell Science & Technology Division, Malaysia, and had no role in the analysis of the study. All other authors have no potential conflict of interest relevant to this article to report.

Authors’ contributions

OA, JL, and YBN planned and designed the experimental study. JL, RS, CPF, and PS supervised and coordinated data acquisition. OA performed the statistical analysis. JL, MS, JCH, and OA drafted and revised the manuscript. All authors except for BNY and PFC have participated in analysis and interpretation of data. All authors have read and approved to the final version of the manuscript.



A surgical glove will protect surgeons and patients only if the glove’s integrity remains intact. However, several studies have demonstrated that undetected micro-perforations of surgical gloves are common. Because of the possibility of surgical glove puncture, an antimicrobial surgical glove was developed. The aim of this laboratory based experimental study was to assess the antibacterial efficacy of the interior chlorhexidine-gluconate (CHG)-coat of an antimicrobial synthetic polyisoprene surgical glove by using a standardized microbiological challenge.


Sixteen healthy adult participants donned one antimicrobial surgical glove and one non-antimicrobial surgical glove randomly allocated to their dominant and non-dominant hand following a crossover design. During a 2-h wear time, participants performed standardized finger and hand movements. Thereafter, the interior surface of excised fingers of the removed gloves was challenged with 8.00 log10 cfu/mL S. aureus (ATCC 6538) or K. pneumoniae (ATCC 4352), respectively. The main outcome measure was the viable mean log10 cfu counts of the two glove groups after 5 min contact with the interior glove’s surface.


When comparing an antimicrobial glove against an untreated reference glove after 2-h simulated use wear-time, a mean reduction factor of 6.24 log10 (S. aureus) and 6.22 log10 (K. pneumoniae) was achieved after 5 min contact.


These results demonstrate that wearing antibacterial gloves on hands does not negatively impact their antibacterial activity after 2-h of wear. This may have a potential benefit for patient safety in case of glove puncture during surgical procedures.
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