This study could have significant implications for the battle to prevent the spread
of infection in hospitals.
Laboratory testing carried out at Aston by Professor of Microbiology, Peter Lambert,
revealed that a much higher number of common pathogens were
significantly reduced by copper than other materials. MRSA, for
example, was killed within one hour.
Items were then specially made and placed in a ward at Selly Oak
Hospital in a clinical study by Professor Tom Elliott. The success was
remarkable. Items containing copper were found to have up to 95% fewer
organisms on them than items made from other materials such as stainless
steel. While other agents such as chlorine and hydrogen peroxide have
had similar short term effects, copper has the longest lasting impact.
The research team believes that copper will be crucial in the fight
against hospital superbugs. The next stage for the project is to
understand more about how and why it is so effective.