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Veterinary session

Investigation of the antimicrobial efficiency of a surface treating polymer
Sasvári Mátyás - year 5
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Supervisor: Dr. Ádám Kerek


Spread of antimicrobial resistance is one of the most significant problems of the 21st century. COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the role of disinfectant agents, surface treating and self-cleaning materials. Usage of these substances in the animal husbandry can effectively decrease incidence of pathogenic agents, and therefore to reduced consumption of antibiotics as well. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a well-known compound which is capable of photocatalysis. The essence of its functioning is that reactive oxygen species (ROS), produced as a consequence of its photocatalytic activation destroy pathogens via damaging the cell-membrane. Previous studies were conducted mainly in human health care on pathogenic agents, while in the veterinary field only a few publications are available about TiO2.

In Hungary, our study was the first that investigated the efficiency of a TiO2 and zinc oxide (ZnO) containing polymer modified with nanosilver particles against Escherichia coli of animal origin. In our ex vivo examinations we demonstrated that the polymer causes significant (p<0.001) reduction in number of pathogens compared to the control. Compared to the untreated, confluently ingrown control surface, Escherichia coli disappeared from the treated area including an average 94% bacterial number lowering by the 30th minute. During the experiments we used bulbs with six different power (4W, 7W, 9W, 12W, 18W, 36W), in six distances (35 cm, 100 cm, 150 cm, 200 cm, 250 cm, 300 cm). In the course of 36 settings, we took 2160 samples, but their analysis could not reveal any significant difference between the tested luminous intensity and distance settings in terms of efficiency. In case of every variation, major part of the microbes was destroyed in 30-60 minutes. We have also examined influencing effect of organic pollutant (manure from porcine) from 300 cm distance applied with 4 and 7 W bulbs. According to the results, it is statable that the efficiency of the polymer decreased compared to the control, but it still functioned efficiently, however, at least 60 minutes had to pass. Furthermore, we have observed the effect of mechanical impacts to surface stability by washing with water-jet and high-pressure device. We ascertained that the former had slight impact (p=0,9998) on the number of bacteria, but the latter had completely removed the polymer from the surface, which significantly (p<0,0001) diminished the antibacterial potential.

The conclusion of our findings is that in case of pathogens from animal origin, efficacy of the polymer is appropriate. The choice of luminous intensity and distance do not, but the presence of organic pollutant do cut down its efficiency. Treated surfaces can be cleaned with moderate impact, but more powerful decontaminating processes can fully remove it; therefore it is necessary to reiterate surface treatment in these cases.

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