Efficacy of Silver Nanoparticle Gel on Bacterial Hand Flora: A RCT


Name: Michael Schlicher

Rank: COL

Organization: The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

Performance Site: Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, TX

Year Published: 2009

Abstract Status: Final


Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to compare the antimicrobial efficacy of a silver nanoparticle gel versus an alcohol-based hand gel versus a combo gel in reducing transient bacterial counts isolated from hands seeded with S. marcescens.

Design:  A randomized-controlled, double-blinded, 3-group (alcohol-based gel vs. silver nanoparticle gel vs. combination gel) design.

Methods:  Qualified subjects began participating in a 7-day washout period prior to hand sampling.  Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: immediate or persistent.  Baseline bacterial samples were obtained from artificially seeded hands using a modified glove juice technique.  For the immediate condition, sampling of the surrogate marker microbes was taken after 1 minute of the gel application using the same procedure as in the baseline sampling.  Participants in the persistent condition received the assigned gel first.  After 30 minutes, the participant’s hands were inoculated with the transient marker.  Sampling was completed using the same glove juice procedure as before.  After decontaminating subject’s hands, a 4-item questionnaire on gel acceptability was completed.  

Sample:  Fifty-five individuals were recruited from the Fort Sam Houston, TX campus.

Analysis:  Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and/or other appropriate normality tests were used for data analysis.

Findings:  For the immediate efficacy, test revealed a statistical significant difference between the alcohol-based gel and the silver nanoparticle gel (p=0.009 – 0.003) and a trend towards significance between the alcohol-based hand gel and the combination gel.  The analysis found no statistical significant difference (p=0.33) between the gels for persistent efficacy.  User acceptability was more favorable for the alcohol-based gel group.  

Implications Military Nursing:  This study addressed the efficacy of two novel gels on bacterial counts with the results potentially informing future clinical effectiveness studies aimed at improving deployment health and the health of injured soldiers.


Final Report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013101...