The biocides chlorhexidine (CHX) gluconate and digluconate have been a familiar, if controversial, tool in dentistry for decades. Over the past two years of the pandemic, it’s been used as an oral rinse to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in both dental practices and hospitals. And now, in a study published March 9 in Scientific Reports, chlorhexidine digluconate has also been found to be an effective antimicrobial treatment for air filters.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed many issues with air recirculation in public settings, such as transportation, and increased the demand for new technologies to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria. This study, conducted at the UK’s University of Birmingham, tested the efficacy of CHX-treated air filters both in the lab and the UK’s rail networks.
The treated filters were found to be durable and to maintain antimicrobial efficacy for the lifetime of the product’s use. The filters were “shown to kill pathogens, such as Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, and MRSA in under 15 min and to destroy SARS-CoV-2 viral particles in under 30 s following contact with the filter.”1
- Watson R, Oldfield M, Bryant JA, et al. Efficacy of antimicrobial and anti-viral coated air filters to prevent the spread of airborne pathogens. Sci Rep. 2022;12(1):2803. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-06579-9