Wednesday 12 October 2022

On disinfection


The regular application of disinfectants represents a key measure for controlling the numbers and types of microorganisms present within a healthcare or pharmaceutical facility. There is an array of different types of disinfectants, each with a different method of microbial kill and with efficacy being influenced by different external factors. Important factors include concentration, contact time, temperature of use, spectrum of activity, and method of application. These differences are drawn out in this article, together with an explanation of microbial kill mechanisms (for both bacterial cells, fungal cells, and bacterial endospores) and a consideration of the variations that affect disinfectant performance. These variations extend to consideration of the need for disinfectant rotation. The method of qualifying disinfectants is also outlined, including suspension testing, surface selection and testing, and the important considerations for executing a field trial.




Sandle, T. (2022) Disinfectants. In Rezaei, N.(Ed.) Encyclopedia of Infection and Immunity, Volume 4, Elsevier, pp 630-639 ISBN 9780323903035,



Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology Resources (

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