Vets use ‘lightning’ in battle against superbugs
Vets are using lightning to zap superbugs affecting dogs, cats and horses and rabbits. Practices across the country are turning to a process that creates a thunderstorm effect to produce ozone, which is 3,200 times more powerful than chlorine beach, to launder blankets and cloths used for cleaning treatment tables and floors.
The revolutionary system, known as OTEX differs from conventional wash systems as it kills superbugs including MRSA and Clostridium Difficile (C.Diff) using mostly cold water. Thermal wash has been proven to be ineffective against some bacteria such as C.Diff.
Dogs, cats and other animals are as susceptible as humans to the killer bugs MRSA & C.Diff. Experts say it can be passed from pet to owner and vice versa.
Among those harnessing ozone in the battle against superbugs is Bristol University’s School of Veterinary Science.
Professor Ed Hall, head of the school’s division of companion animal studies, said: ‘Cases of MRSA infections in dogs and cats appear to be on the increase. All vets have a duty to institute the highest standards of hygiene management to protect patients, clients and staff.
Professor Hall continued: ‘We use the OTEX system as part of our own hygiene management to prevent the spread of MRSA and other infections via laundry items such as blankets and Vetbed bedding. The fact that the system destroys
MRSA gives everyone concerned complete peace of mind. It is an invaluable infection control tool.’
According to the Bella Moss Foundation, a charity which supports and promotes research into MRSA and pets, cases have been rising steadily since 2004.
Jill Moss, President of the Bella Moss Foundation and member of DEFRA Darc committee on MRSA in animals, said: ‘We have seen an increase of cases since 2004 and it seems that EMRA 15/16 which is the dominant hospital strain is affecting all species of animals.
Moss continued: ‘There has been a marked increase in rodents and this may well be because pet owners now have closer contact with their pets such as rats and rabbits that live at home. The foundation is now working with government and the veterinary profession to prevent cross infection of this zoonotic disease.’
The OTEX system is the result of a £3 million development programme by JLA, a Yorkshire-based company which is a major supplier of commercial laundry equipment.
Extensive independent microbiological testing proved that OTEX kills C.Diff and other potentially lethal viruses and bacteria. As a result, the system is now being promoted within the NHS and private healthcare sectors.
Vet Helen Torrington, who uses OTEX at her large orthopaedic practice in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, said: ‘I decided to commission a microbiological test of my own just to be on the safe side.
‘The results were just the same as those obtained by JLA – there was no trace of any bacteria. The microbiologist even prolonged observation for an extra week to make absolutely sure the laundered items were clear.’