Humphreys, Paul N (2011) Testing Standards for Sporicides. Journal of Hospital Infection, 77 (3). pp. 193-198. ISSN 0195-6701

Sporicidal products are of considerable importance in healthcare environments due to the
requirement for products that are capable of dealing with contamination with Clostridium
difficile spores. Sporicidal testing standards to validate the claims of sporicidal activity are an
important tool in the evaluation of commercial sporicides. Within Europe there are a number of
sporicidal testing standards which are often used to validate the claims of commercial sporicides.
However, the extent to which these standards reflect the practical application of sporicides in
healthcare settings is limited since they employ long contact times (�30 min) and do not involve
surface contamination. Alternative international standards are available which employ
contaminated carriers rather than spore suspensions, and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development is currently developing a unified set of standards which are more
realistic in their design than the currently available European standards. This paper reviews the
currently available testing standards for sporicides, highlighting the key procedural differences
between them and the extent to which they reflect the practical application of sporicidal
products. Some of the common problems and errors associated with the application of the
European sporicidal standard methods are also highlighted and discussed. Finally gaps in the
currently available testing standards are identified and discussed.

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