UFS heads research on disinfectant resistance

As SARS-CoV-2, an enveloped corona­virus, is susceptible to most disinfectants, it is envisaged that disinfectants, including those containing 70% ethanol, should potentially be able to kill the virus fairly quickly.

Nevertheless, it was found that some bacteria are highly resistant to several commercially available disinfectants.

While the Veterinary Biotechnology group at the University of the Free State (UFS) aims to prevent the development of more highly resistant bacteria, a research group in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology is working to better understand disinfectant resistance.

The research is headed by Prof. Robert Bragg, professor in the department, and Dr Charlotte Boucher, research associate. According to Samantha Mc Carlie, masters student and laboratory mana­ger, their work is largely attributable to the issues experienced with antibiotic resistance.

“Multidrug-resistant infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. Bacterial infections that are present in hospitals and agriculture are becoming unresponsive to many of the antibiotics currently in use, marking the start of a post-antibiotic era.”

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