Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) has launched Virasept, its first ready-to-use hard surface disinfectant. The product has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) spores.
C. difficile is a highly drug-resistant bacterium, which exists in the environment in spore (or inactive) form and produces a toxin that causes diarrhea and more serious intestinal conditions such as colitis. C. difficile spores are frequently found in hospitals, nursing homes and extended care facilities. Although spores cannot cause infection directly, they transform into the active (or infectious) form when ingested.
C. difficile spores can remain on hard environmental surfaces for a prolonged period and is very difficult to clean with existing disinfectants. It is commonly responsible for hospital-acquired diarrhea.
The prevalence of C. difficile is growing at a brisk rate over the past few years. Study reveals that more than 7,000 patients in the hospital setting are being affected by C. difficile each day with an estimated associated healthcare cost ranging between $18 million and $52 million. Commonly used disinfectants in hospitals are often ineffective against C. difficile spores and may actually promote spore formation.
Virasept is a non-bleaching disinfectant, having the potential to effectively reduce the environmental transmission of C. difficile. It works within ten minutes of application against C. difficile spores. Virasept is also effective against a broad range of other pathogens such as MRSA, VRE, E. coli, HIV, Hepatitis B and H1N1.
Virasept has been formulated as a one-step solution for cleaning, disinfecting and deodorizing frequently touched room surfaces on a daily basis. As such, it reduces the need for multiple disinfectants.
Minneapolis-based Ecolab develops and markets products and services for the hospitality, foodservice, institutional and industrial markets. The company offers cleaning, sanitizing, pest elimination, maintenance and repair products as well as systems and services. Ecolab provides infection prevention products through its United States Cleaning and Sanitizing (USCS) segment.
To boost growth, Ecolab continues to invest in strategic areas such as, product innovation, healthcare, water and energy and global pest elimination while rationalizing operating costs. Virasept represents a premium addition to Ecolab’s healthcare solutions portfolio.