Many of us use those little bottles of alcohol-based hand cleaners as a stopgap for washing our hands with soap and water. Hospitals and clinics have dispensers of antibacterial cleansers installed on the walls of patient rooms in an attempt to control the germs that surround us.
Now a new hand cleaner called Zylast has become available that may force those other antimicrobial cleansers to move over.
Zylast has the ability to start working within 15 seconds of application and lasts for six hours. It was named as one of three initial winners in a recent ‘Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge’ sponsored by the USAID.
NPR reported that the company that produces Zylast, Innovative BioDefense, is receiving tens of thousands of dollars from a joint venture of the USAID and the CDC to see if it can be useful to slow the spread of Ebola in Africa.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10% of the casualties of the outbreak have been healthcare workers treating Ebola patients.” 2
The riskiest time for health care workers is when they are removing their protective equipment. Since Zylast lasts up to six hours after application, it offers protection against any Ebola virus that comes in contact with skin that has been treated with the cleaner.
Alcohol-based sanitizers kill germs on contact but do not have any continued effect after they are applied. They work by disrupting the cell walls of bacteria. Exactly how they work on viruses is unknown, NPR reported.
The continued benefit offered by a product like Zylast is what makes it unique in today’s search for new antimicrobial treatments.
Dentistry IQ reported that Zylast fights more common bacteria such as E. coli, which can cause food poisoning, and S. pneumoniae, a primary source of pneumonia and meningitis.
In addition, Zylast was effective against two other dangerous bacteria Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE).
Innovative BioDefense boasts of other benefits in using Zylast.