|MadSci Network: Microbiology|
Wescodyne is an iodine based disinfectant, which affects bacteria by oxidizing and inactivating its cellular proteins. Iodine disinfectants & antiseptics are thus able to kill a wide range of microorganisms - bacteria, viruses, fungi, and so on. Because Wescodyne is also a detergent, it is even more effective against certain organisms. However, because iodine based disinfectants must enter the bacteria to affect its proteins, certain strains of bacteria - such as P. aeruginosa - may be able to develop a resistance to disinfectants such as Wescodyne. Triclosan, on the other hand, kills bacteria by disrupting the cell wall, thus preventing metabolism and reproduction processes. It is highly unlikely that any bacterial strains will develop resistance to this method; on the other hand, Triclosan is able to affect a much small range of microorganisms. It is able to target Gram-positive bacteria, such as S. aureus, because the cell wall tends to be unprotected. Gram-negative bacteria, however, such as P. aeruginosa, has an outer membrane protecting the cell wall, and Triclosan is much less effective against it. The National Institute of Health offers documents describing recommendations and uses for various disinfectants and antiseptics; you can find these by visiting their website at http://www.nih.gov/ and searching for either "disinfectant" or for a specific type. Angela Reese
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Microbiology.