Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Inhibitory Effect of Metal Surface on the Antimicrobial Resistance Microorganism

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2018 December, Volume 21, Issue 4, pages 80-85.

Inhibitory Effect of Metal Surface on the Antimicrobial Resistance Microorganism

Jung-Beom Kim1, Jae-Kwang Kim2, Hyunjung Kim2, Eun Jung Cho2, Yeon-Joon Park3, Hae Kyung Lee2
1Department of Food Science and Technology, Sunchon National University, Suncheon, 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital, 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Background: The aim of this study was to comparatively evaluate the bactericidal effects of copper, brass (copper 78%, tin 22%), and stainless steel against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VREFM), and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MRPA).

Methods: The isolates (MRSA, VREFM, MRPA) used in this study were mixed wild type 3 strains isolated from patients treated at Uijeongbu St. Mary’s Hospital in 2017. These strains showed patterns of multidrug resistance. The lyophilized strains were inoculated into and incubated for 24 hr in tryptic soy broth at 35°C. The initial bacterial inoculum concentration was adjusted to 105 CFU/mL. A 100-mL bacterial suspension was incubated in containers made of brass (copper 78%, tin 22%), copper (above 99% purity), and stainless steel at 35°C. Viable counts of bacteria strains were measured for 9 days.

Results: In this study, the bactericidal effects of copper and brass on MRSA, VREFM, and MRPA were verified. The bactericidal effect of stainless steel was much weaker than those of copper and brass. The bactericidal effect was stronger on MRPA than on MRSA or VREFM.

Conclusion: To prevent cross infection of multidrug resistant bacteria in hospitals, further studies of longer duration are needed for testing of copper materials on objects such as door knobs, faucets, and bed rails. (Ann Clin Microbiol 2018;21:80-85)


Bactericidal effect, Brass, Copper, Multidrug resistant bacteria