The Use of Copper as an Antimicrobial Agent in Health Care, Including Obstetrics and Gynecology

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2019 Aug 14;32(4):e00125-18. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00125-18. Print 2019 Sep 18.


Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are a global problem associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Controlling the spread of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria is a major public health challenge, and antimicrobial resistance has become one of the most important global problems in current times. The antimicrobial effect of copper has been known for centuries, and ongoing research is being conducted on the use of copper-coated hard and soft surfaces for reduction of microbial contamination and, subsequently, reduction of HAIs. This review provides an overview of the historical and current evidence of the antimicrobial and wound-healing properties of copper and explores its possible utility in obstetrics and gynecology.

Keywords: antibiotic resistance; antimicrobial activity; antimicrobial agents; copper; gynecology; health care-associated infections; microorganisms; obstetrics; wound healing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy*
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control*
  • Copper / therapeutic use*
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy*
  • Gynecology / trends*
  • Humans
  • Obstetrics / trends*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Copper