Anti-bacterial Cleansers Don't Strengthen Antibiotic Resistance

Anti-bacterial Cleansers Don't Strengthen Antibiotic Resistance

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Anti-bacterial cleaning products used in the home don't contribute to the antibiotic resistance of bacteria, according to a study authored by a researcher now working at Brigham Young University.

Nor do the cleansers create new forms of bacteria with stronger resistance to soaps and cleaning agents, it found.

The two-year study took bacteria samples from kitchen and bathroom surface areas in 40 homes in the United States and 20 in England. Samples also were taken from the residents' hands and mouths.

Half of the people included in the study used anti-bacterial products, including personal hygiene products such as toothpaste and mouthwash, while half did not.

From the samples, researchers grew colonies of bacteria and tested them for resistance to antibiotics and anti-bacterial agents.

"When we looked at all of the data, it was clear that there was no correlation between the two. Resistance in one did not mean resistance in another," said Eugene C. Cole, BYU professor of environmental health and infectious disease and lead author of the study.

The study's results were published Wednesday in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.

Cole began working on the study while employed by a research company in North Carolina and wrote the results after starting work at BYU in January 2002.

The study was sponsored by Reckitt Benckiser, which makes anti-bacterial cleaning products.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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