Bactericidal activity of electrolyzed acid water from solution containing sodium chloride at low concentration, in comparison with that at high concentration.
BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIMS The aim of the present study was to evaluate a new endoscope disinfector (WM-1) that uses acidic electrolytic water (AEW). MATERIALS AND METHODS AEW was produced by electrolysis of a 0.05% NaCl-water mixture, with a redox potential greater than 1000 mV and a pH lower than 2.7. In the first study, an endoscope artificially contaminated with 15 species of bacteria and four strains of viruses was treated using the WM-1. In the second study, endoscopic contamination after clinical use was examined by culture for Helicobacter pylori and other bacteria, and by polymerase chain reaction for the H. pylori urease gene and hepatitis C virus. The extent of contamination was then examined after exposing the WM-1 to AEW. The safety of AEW was examined using both in vivo and in vitro studies. RESULTS All of the bacteria and viruses were destroyed or inactivated after the instrument had been exposed to AEW. Clinical contamination was detected from the instrument in 19 of 30 endoscopic procedures, whereas no bacteria or viruses were detected after five minutes' exposure to AEW. AEW was found to be nonirritant, nontoxic to cells, and nonmutagenic. CONCLUSION The WM-1 successfully and safely disinfected the endoscopes. With running costs of yen 24 per day ($0.21 per day), the WM-1 provides an effective and inexpensive alternative to conventional disinfection equipment.