Recent studies have shown that hydro-alcoholic solutions are more efficient than traditional medicated soaps in the pre-surgical hand antisepsis of human surgeons but there is little veterinary literature on the subject. The aim of this study was to compare the efficiency of medicated soaps and a hydro-alcoholic solution prior to surgery using an in-use testing method in a veterinary setting. A preliminary trial was performed that compared the mean log(10) number of bacterial colony forming units (CFU) and the reduction factors (RF) between two 5-min hand-scrubbing sessions using different soaps, namely, povidone iodine (PVP) and chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX), and the 1.5-min application of a hydro-alcoholic rub. A clinical in-use trial was then used to compare the hydro-alcoholic rub and CHX in a surgical setting. Sampling was performed using finger printing on agar plates. The hydro-alcoholic rub and CHX had a similar immediate effect, although the sustained effect was significantly better for the hydro-alcoholic rub, while PVP had a significantly lower immediate and sustained effect. The hydro-alcoholic rub showed good efficiency in the clinical trial and could be considered as a useful alternative method for veterinary surgical hand antisepsis.
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