Sink drains are increasingly recognized as potential reservoirs of pathogens that can lead to hospital-acquired infections. Drain surfaces are unique because on top of being wet, hard to reach and extremely dirty, they are also used for the discharge of soiled matter. The disinfection of drains therefore cannot be approached in the same way as other smooth surfaces such as countertops, desks or tables.

The bacteria found in drains can contaminate the environment if they manage to “escape” and reach surrounding surfaces. The very nature of drains themselves also promotes the spread of biofilms. It is especially important in a medical setting to control bacteria in sink drains, which are highly fertile breeding grounds due to all the water, nutrients and microbes that are being constantly poured into them. In some drains, biofilms are also exposed to traces of antibiotics, which can lead to resistance over time.

To date, healthcare facilities battling biofilms have used chlorinated disinfectants, caustic soda or highly potent disinfectants in an attempt to eliminate them. However, these solutions are completely ineffective in destroying biofilms. Another common but costly approach is to simply replace contaminated pipes and drains. After several years of research, Sani Marc has developed a product that actually works: BioAssure, the first product registered by Health Canada against biofilms in healthcare facilities.

Efficacy results of BioAssure treatment

At the beginning of the tests, the level of contamination measured was approximately 106 CFU/cm2 in all drains; approximately 6 log. An initial treatment with BioAssure reduced contamination to 4 log. Subsequent treatments with BioAssure reduced and maintained the level of contamination at around 1 log. This represents a decrease of 5 to 6 log (99.999% minimum) on biofilms found on the inner surface of drains.

Testing of P-trap samples also demonstrates the efficacy of BioAssure treatment in reducing bacterial contamination; just one treatment with BioAssure reduced P-trap contamination by an average of 2.23 log.

The tests carried out show that BioAssure treatment effectively reduces contamination in drains. These findings are encouraging and should promote the use of BioAssure as an effective disinfectant for keeping bacterial contamination in hospital sink drains under control.

For details on the field study on the efficacy of BioAssure treatment, download our white paper .