Objectives

The primary aim of the Copper Touch Surfaces Program is to demonstrate the effectiveness of copper alloys to kill pathogens in healthcare and other high-risk facilities and to reduce nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections.

A second aim is to assess bacterial colonization rates by examining the impact of copper on the environmental bioload and on the rates of patient colonization with the indicator pathogens — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and Acinetobacter baumannii (A-baum).

A third aim is to elucidate the transmission dynamics of the indicator pathogens by using molecular typing of environmental and clinical samples.

The outcome from the Copper Touch Surfaces Program will be the validation that using copper alloys for selected touch surfaces in healthcare settings will create an active microbiocidal environment resulting in the overall reduction of microbial pathogens leading to a reduction in patient colonization and infection rates. To accomplish this three clinical trials will be conducted in progressively less intensely ill patient groups to establish the general applicability of this kind of intervention across military and civilian populations.