Efficacy of disinfectants and heat against Escherichia coli O157:H7

Microbios. 1999;98(389):7-14.


The bactericidal activity of disinfectants and hot water against ten Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains, which were isolated from faeces of patients with enterohaemorrhagic E. coli infection, were evaluated and showed different DNA patterns. After exposure to 0.1% benzalkonium chloride, 0.1% chlorhexidine gluconate containing a nonionic surfactant, and 80% (v/v) ethanol, 99.99% of viable bacterial cells were killed at 20 degrees C within 15 s irrespective of the presence or absence of 0.1% albumin. On the other hand, after exposure to hot water, 99.99% of the bacterial cells were killed within 15 s at 70 degrees C. These results suggest that benzalkonium chloride, chlorhexidine gluconate containing a nonionic surfactant, ethanol, and hot water at 70 degrees C or more are effective for disinfection of E. coli O157:H7 in hospitals.

MeSH terms

  • Benzalkonium Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field / methods
  • Escherichia coli O157 / drug effects*
  • Escherichia coli O157 / genetics
  • Heating
  • Humans
  • Polyethylene Glycols / pharmacology*
  • Surface-Active Agents / pharmacology*


  • Benzalkonium Compounds
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Disinfectants
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Chlorhexidine