The bactericidal, fungicidal and sporicidal properties of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid

J Appl Bacteriol. 1983 Jun;54(3):417-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.1983.tb02637.x.


The antimicrobial properties of aqueous solutions of peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide have been compared. Peracetic acid exhibited excellent antimicrobial properties, especially under acidic conditions. Reductions by a factor of 10(6) in the numbers of vegetative bacteria are obtained within 1 min at 25 degrees C using a solution containing 1.3 mmol/l of peracetic acid. Rapid activity against bacterial spores and yeasts also occurs. Hydrogen peroxide is more effective as a sporicide than as a bactericide, with sporicidal action being obtained using a solution containing 0.88 mol/l. Bactericidal action is poor but hydrogen peroxide was bacteriostatic at concentrations above 0.15 mmol/l.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / pharmacology*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae / drug effects
  • Peracetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / drug effects
  • Saccharomyces / drug effects*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / drug effects
  • Spores, Bacterial / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects


  • Acetates
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Peracetic Acid