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Antimicrobial Activities Of Some Selected Commercial Antisepectic Soaps Sold In Kaduna Nigeria

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Eleven medicated soaps: Crusader, Septol, 14 days, Funbact, Lifebouy, Safeguard, Tetmosol, TCP, Dettol, Delta and Antigal were investigated for their antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Two cloth washing soaps (Key and Truck) were used as control. Identification of the bacterial species was by standard microbiological techniques which included colonial examination, Gram staining and biochemical testing. Minimum inhibitory and minimum bactericidal activities of the soaps were determined by agar well diffusion method. Profloxacin was employed as a positive control antibiotic.

Crusader soap had the highest antibacterial activity (25 mm, against Staphylococcus aureus) while Antigal exhibited the least zone of inhibition (9 mm against Staphylococcus aureus). Significant differences (P<0.05) were observed on the different concentrations of soap preparations used in the work. Staphylococcus aureus was very sensitive to most of the antibacterial soaps used, while Escherichia coli showed higher resistance to the soaps. The medicated soaps analysed have bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal effects on the test pathogens while complete resistance was shown by some of the test isolates even at higher concentrations of the soap preparations used. The cloth washing soaps had no antibacterial effect on the tested pathogens. The use of medicated soaps is thus recommended in homes, schools, offices and hospitals as a way of minimizing or stopping infections that are hitherto spread through the hands. Keywords: bacteria, infections, medicated soaps, resistance, sensitivity.


1.0 Introduction

Soaps like other cleansing agents have been around for quite a long time (Friedman and Wolf, 1996). For generations, hand washing with soap and water has been considered a measure of personal hygiene. Bacteria are very diverse and present in soil, water, sewage and on human body and are of great importance with reference to health (Johnson et al., 2002). In 1961 the U.S public Health service recommendation directed that personnel wash their hands with soap and water for 1 to 2 minutes before and after client contact.

The antibacterial soaps can remove 65 to 85% bacteria from human skin (Osborne and Grube, 1982). Although fats and oils are general ingredients of soaps but some detergent additives enhance the antibacterial activities of soaps (Friedman and Wolf, 1996).

Transient bacteria are deposited on the skin surface from environmental sources and cause skin infections. Examples of such bacteria are Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Fluit et al., 2001) and Staphylococcus aureus (Higaki et al., 2000). The importance of hand washing is more crucial when it is associated to health care workers because of possible cross contaminating of bacteria that may be pathogenic or opportunistic (Richards et al., 1999). Hand hygiene and prevention of infection through the use of medicated soaps has been well recognized.

A large number of chemical compounds have the ability to inhibit the growth and metabolism of microorganisms or kill them. The number of chemicals is enormous, probably at least 10, 000 with 1,000 commonly used in the hospital and homes (Richards et al., 1999). Chemicals exist as solids, liquids and gases. Of the many groups of chemicals used to reduce or destroy microbes important groups include hydrogen, phenols, soaps, detergents, ammonia compounds, alcohols, heavy metals, acids and certain special compound. Disinfection, decontamination, antisepsis/sanitization and sterilization, just naming a few are terms that describe the process of cleaning by either soaps/detergents or other cleaning agents. Numerous cleaning agents are available in the market, which are presented in various forms with distinct formulation.

Triclosan, trichlorocarbanilide and P-chloro-in-xylenol (PCMX/Chloroxylenol) are the commonly used anti-bacterials in medicated soaps. These are generally only contained at preservation level unless the product is clearly marked as antibacterial, antiseptic, or germicidal (Larson et al., 1989).

Scrubbing body or hands, particularly with soaps is the first of defense against bacteria and other pathogens that can cause colds the Flu, skin infection and even deadly communicable diseases (Kimel, 1996). Conceptually, many people consider that an antimicrobial portion of soaps is effective at preventing communicable disease.

But now researchers highlight that too much of it can have the opposite effect spreading disease/infection instead of preventing them (Poole, 2002). Over-utilization of medicated rendering might result in antimicrobial resistance and even rendering an individual more vulnerable to microbial attacks such as opportunistic skin infections (Larson et al., 1989).

Unfortunately, in the long run may affect the consumers, because overuse of these agents can ascribe to the emergence of drug, resistant micro organisms. This research work carried out in 2004 was aimed at determining the antibacterial activities of some commonly used medicated soaps in selected human pathogens (Larson et al., 1989).

1.2  Justification

Transient bacteria causa damage to the skin and it contribute to aging and illness of the body and compound found in medicated soaps tend to protect the body against this harmful bacteria.

1.2  Antibiotic Resistance of Bacteria

Antibiotic resistance is common in pathogens, opportunistic pathogens and even non pathogenic bacteria in various environmental conditions, such as hospital and communities among others (Baquero and Mavin., 2008). Recent studies of antibiotic resistance showed that mortality rates doubles in case where resistant were present; furthermore, the length of treatment increased often requiring the use of more expensive antibiotics or antibiotic cocktails (WHO, 2007). Hence the prevalence of antibiotic- resistant pathogens is becoming a major public health issue all over the worlds.

Antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes play fundamental ecological roles in shaping the structures of microbial communities (Oliveira et al., 2010). Horitontal gene transfer among bacterial and the overuse of antibiotics intensifies the antibiotic resistance in pathogens and   environment bacteria. The prevalence of antibiotic resistance in the environment threatens to be conductive to the emergence of antibiotics resistance in bacterial pathogens. Agar diffusion and broth dilution tests are two common phenotypic test systems used to determine the breakpoint. These serial assays are used in investigate the antibiotic concentration at which bacterial growth is inhibited. However, microorganism in environmental samples are always mixed with multiple species present, rather than a single strain.

Harmful bacteria cause damage to the body and it contribute to aging and superficial skin infection. Ingredient found in antiseptic soap tend to protect the skin against this harmful bacteria.

1.3   Aim of the Study

The aim of the research study is to assess the susceptibility profiles of antiseptic soap commonly used against some bacterial isolates, which will be achieve through the following objective.

1.4 Objectives

  1. To evaluate the antimicrobial activities of antiseptic soap commonly used on some bacteria isolates.
  2. To determine the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of antiseptic soap used.



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