What is a biocide?
Microbial contamination can consist of bacteria, fungi, viruses or bacterial spores. A biocide is a disinfectant with a broad spectrum of activity, especially against bacteria and fungi.
Many biocides are not effective against bacterial spores, which pose a particular threat as they are so difficult to kill, and can lay dormant for extended periods of time.
Here we examine different types of biocides and their spectrums of activity, to help you to determine which will meet the requirements of your Standard Operating Procedure.
Which biocide should I use?
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs or Quats) work by causing disorganisation of the cell membrane and the cell’s insides leak out and degrade. They are effective against bacteria, enveloped viruses and fungi, but have little activity on non-enveloped viruses or endospores.
Biguanides alter the permeability of the cell membrane. They can damage the outer layers and attack the inner layers and this will also cause leakage. They have similar effects to the Quats.
Because a biguanide kills by affecting the cell wall and cell membrane, it may not be very effective against a micro-organism with a very strong cell wall. That kind of micro-organism will be naturally resistant to the effects of a biguanide.
Chlorine is a highly active oxidising agent. It oxidises DNA and cell proteins destroying their activity. Disinfectants containing chlorine kill most things including endospores at higher concentrations.
Hydrogen Peroxide is highly reactive and acts as an oxidant, producing free hydroxyl radicals. These free radicals can then attack the essential cell components. Hydrogen Peroxide based disinfectants tend to kill everything including endospores, but this kind of disinfectant is very harsh on the surfaces it cleans.
We stock a whole range of biocides available for next day delivery, shop the range.
Read Rebecca Smith’s Whitepaper: Rotational Cleaning on Connect 2 Cleanrooms website for more information.