Effectiveness of copper as a preventive tool in healthcare facilities. A systematic review
Paula Aillón-García 1 , Blanca Parga-Landa 2 , Francisco Guillén-Grima 3
Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a significant clinical and economic burden on health systems worldwide. Copper alloys have been certified by the US EPA as solid antimicrobial materials, but their effectiveness in reducing HAIs is not well established OBJECTIVES: This systematic review aimed to assess copper surfaces in situ efficacy in reducing healthcare's microbial burden compared to control surfaces.
Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted using three electronic databases: Web of Science, Pubmed, and Scopus, with the keywords "copper" and "surfaces" and "antimicrobial" and "antibacterial" and "infections." Studies from 2010 to 2022 were included. The quality of the studies was independently screened and assessed using the Newcastle Ottawa Scale.
Results: A total of 56 articles were screened, with eight included in the review and seven, added from references. Two third of the studies report a significant reduction in the microbial burden on copper objects compared to control objects. The two studies with the highest scores on NOS evaluation indicated that using copper or copper alloys in healthcare settings can effectively decrease the number of bacterial contaminations on touch surfaces.
Conclusions: The results suggest the potential effectiveness of copper as a preventive tool in healthcare facilities, but further studies and longer trials are needed to establish a relationship between copper and reduced nosocomial infections.