Frequently-touched surfaces in busy areas - such as hospitals, transport hubs and public buildings - are at high risk of community-acquired and healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).
Bacteria deposited on a surface by one person touching it, or via contaminated body fluids, can be picked up by subsequent users and spread to other surfaces, potentially causing thousands of infections worldwide.
"Our latest research shows that in simulated fingertip contamination of surfaces with millions of MRSA or MSSA, the cells can remain alive for long periods on non-antimicrobial surfaces - such as stainless steel - but are killed even more rapidly than droplet contamination on copper and copper alloys. Exposure to copper damages the bacterial respiration and DNA, resulting in irreversible cell breakdown and death."
Touch surfaces made from solid antimicrobial copper are already used by hospitals, schools, mass transit hubs, sports facilities and offices around the world to reduce the spread of infections, supporting key infection control measures such as good hand hygiene and regular surface cleaning and disinfection.