In cooperation with the University of Copenhagen and two chemical companies, we helped examine a growing contemporary challenge: resistance of microorganisms to disinfectants and antibiotics. Our expertise in the regulatory affairs of disinfectants was fundamental to our study.
We rely on disinfectants to make our homes, hospitals, daycare centres, swimming pools and farm environments safe. However, much like bacterial infections treated with antibiotics, microorganisms around us can also become resistant to disinfectants. Furthermore, resistance to disinfectants can result in cross-resistance to antibiotics. The result: a significant problem with effectiveness, when the antibiotic needs to be administered.
Over the course of a four-year project, we showed that knowledge of how a disinfectant works allows us to predict the likelihood of microorganism developing resistance to it.
As part of the project, we reviewed scientific results from the past decade on how three groups of disinfectants work, including:
- peracetic acid (PAA)
- quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs)
- poly(hexamethylene biguanide) hydrochloride (PHMB)
We also studied whether microorganisms can develop resistance to these disinfectants. Our finding: if you know how a disinfectant kills microorganisms, you can probably predict whether resistance will be a problem.
In 2012, the European Union (EU) enacted a new biocides regulation. Within the next four years, any company wanting to sell a disinfectant in the EU must document the tendency of microorganisms to develop a resistance to the disinfectant. Chemical authorities will reject applications for approval of a disinfectant that do not possess sufficient documentation.
We have the experience and expertise to guide companies through the documentation process. We know what requirements the applicant must live up to and how they must formulate their documentation, saving them time and money.
Our knowledge of the documentation process and requirements is useful for dealing with regulations around the globe, including:
- all 27 EU countries
- the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries – Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland
- other countries that regulate antimicrobial chemicals (such as Australia, the U.S.A. and Brazil)