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Zylast: New Antibacterial Cleanser May Help Knock Out Ebola

By HERWriter
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Zylast: Will New Antibacterial Cleanser Help Knock Out Ebola? Lev Dolgachov/PhotoSpin

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. In addition to being available as a cleanser, Zylast also comes in a proprietary lotion with moisturizers that reduces the irritation that is common to alcohol-based cleansers.

Zylast is available for purchase for both hospital and classroom use through a website called Zylastdirect.com. A 2-ounce flip bottle antiseptic cleaner or lotion costs $3.79, an 8-ounce antiseptic lotion costs $11.28 and a 8.25-ounce foaming antiseptic soap is $6.19 at their website. It also can be purchased at higher prices through Amazon.

It is too early to know if Zylast is really the answer to helping control the Ebola epidemic but it sounds like it may be valuable in the overall fight against antibiotic resistant diseases.


1) It Kills Germs For Up To 6 Hours. Can It Wipe Out Ebola? National Public Radio. Retrieved March 1, 2015.

2) Zylast™ Wins USAID "Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge". PR Newswire. Retrieved March 1, 2015.

3) Zylast products show antimicrobial persistence. Dentistry IQ. . Retrieved March 1, 2015.

4) Sanitizer Created At Irvine Lab Could Play Role In Fight Against Ebola. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 1, 2015.

5) Zylast. Accessed March 1, 2015.

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues.

Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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