Biofilms – a sticky matrix of proteins and sugar polymers created by bacteria as a way of protecting themselves – frequently show up inside pipes and in other very humid locations. Biofilms consist of bacteria, moulds, yeasts and fungi, viruses and microscopic algae. In healthcare facilities, biofilms can lead to clogged, smelly drains as well as a serious health risk. Drains at the bottom of sinks tend to be among the most popular bacterial breeding grounds for biofilm formation.
Biofilms: A critical issue for hospitals
While you’re unlikely to contract a serious illness from the biofilms found in your pipes at home, in hospitals, biofilms can be a downright plague, leading to numerous infections and diseases. This risk only multiplies in healthcare facilities that treat patients with weakened immune systems. As reservoirs of pathogenic organisms, biofilm formations in pipes greatly increase the risk of contracting illnesses such as Pseudomonas, VRE, KPC, MRSA, Acinetobacter and norovirus.
70% of all illnesses and infections contracted in hospitals
are caused by the bacteria hidden in biofilms.
Biofilms: Hard to see, hard to eliminate
Always exercise caution when disposing of biofilms to prevent spreading the bacteria. When turning on the faucet, the splashing water can spread bacteria by up to 6 feet around the sink, thereby greatly increasing the risk of contaminating surfaces and users.
We’ve known about biofilms for a long time now, but it’s only more recently that we’ve begun to understand how they actually work. We now know that to eliminate a biofilm, you first need to destroy the organic matrix to release the bacteria contained within it; only then will the bacteria be vulnerable to disinfectants. Failing to destroy the biofilm structure itself will leave the bacteria and superbugs protected and therefore free to proliferate.
Limitations of the current approaches used to dealing with biofilms
Facilities grappling with a biofilm problem currently use chlorine disinfectants, caustic soda or extremely powerful disinfectants in an attempt to eliminate these biofilms. Unfortunately, these solutions are totally ineffective for destroying biofilms. Another other popular option is to replace contaminated pipes and drains, which is obviously very expensive.
Bioassure: a new and effective approach for eliminating biofilms
After several years of research, Sani Marc has developed Bioassure, the first and only product certified by Health Canada to fight biofilms in healthcare facilities. Bioassure’s unique formula destroys biofilms and disinfects in a single treatment. Bioassure is applied as a foam to prolong contact time on surfaces and in drains, enabling it to efficiently destroy and disinfect the biofilms they contain. Bioassure is designed to be used as an integral part of any cleaning and sanitation program essential to achieving a high level of hygiene in healthcare facilities. With Bioassure, healthcare facilities now have access to a proven solution to prevent the damage caused by biofilms.