Evaluation of a 2% chlorhexidine gluconate in 70% isopropyl alcohol skin disinfectant

J Hosp Infect. 2005 Dec;61(4):287-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2005.05.015. Epub 2005 Oct 10.


The efficacy of a new skin disinfectant, 2% (w/v) chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) in 70% (v/v) isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (ChloraPrep), was compared with five commonly used skin disinfectants against Staphylococcus epidermidis RP62A in the presence or absence of protein, utilizing quantitative time-kill suspension and carrier tests. All six disinfectants [70% (v/v) IPA, 0.5% (w/v) aqueous CHG, 2% (w/v) aqueous CHG, 0.5% (w/v) CHG in 70% (v/v) IPA and 10% (w/v) aqueous povidone iodine (PI)] achieved a log(10) reduction factor of 5, in colony-forming units/mL, in a suspension test (exposure time 30s) in the presence and absence of 10% human serum. Subsequent challenges of S. epidermidis RP62A in a biofilm (with and without human serum) demonstrated reduced bactericidal activity. Overall, the most effective skin disinfectants tested against S. epidermidis RP62A were 2% (w/v) CHG in 70% IPA and 10% (w/v) PI. These results suggest that enhanced skin antisepsis may be achieved with 2% (w/v) CHG in 70% (v/v) IPA compared with the three commonly used CHG preparations [0.5% (w/v) aqueous CHG, 2% (w/v) aqueous CHG and 0.5% (w/v) CHG in 70% (v/v) IPA].

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2-Propanol / pharmacology*
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Communicable Disease Control / methods
  • Disinfectants / chemistry*
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Skin / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis / drug effects*


  • Disinfectants
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • 2-Propanol
  • Chlorhexidine