Some Bacteria Are Becoming More Tolerant to Hand Sanitizers

A new research published by Science Translational Medicine shows that several strains of bacteria found in hospitals have begun adjusting to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. They are not yet resistant to the alcohol but they're becoming "more tolerant" of it, the authors write. That means the bacteria were able to survive for longer periods of time after being doused with alcohol. The study used different strengths of alcohol concentrations to kill the bacteria. While at 70% alcohol mixture, the bacteria were killed, at 60% the typical concentration of hand sanitizers, some did survive. Many of these alcohol-tolerant bacteria are resistant to multiple drugs as well. That means the bacteria are spreading more easily within hospitals, and there are limited options for treatment. The researchers compared 139 types of bacteria, looking at the same strains over a 19-year from 1997 to 2015. The bacteria evolved to tolerate alcohol better. Bacteria collected after 2009 were 10 times more tolerant than pre-2004 bacteria which correspond to the national push to use more hand sanitizers. @

Some Bacteria Are Becoming 'More Tolerant' Of Hand Sanitizers, Study Finds

Researchers wanted to know why certain infections were increasing in hospitals. They were surprised by what they found.

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