Some bacteria have become resistant to hand sanitizers

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New research has found that certain germs are becoming more and more resistant to hand sanitizers.

Alcohol-based disinfectants are widely used to eliminate germs, and have proven effective against reducing infections like those caused by the staphylococcus bacteria, CNN reports.

But a recent study published in Science Translational Medicine noticed a rise enterococcal infections, suggesting that the bacteria that causes it may have developed a tolerance to alcohol.

Alcohol is believed to kill bacteria by dissolving their cellular membrane, so it was thought that germs and viruses were unable to adapt to it.

Researchers analyzed 139 types of bacteria from 1997 to 2015 and found that on average, those taken after 2009 tolerated alcohol more than pre- 2004 strains.

Further testing showed that the alcohol-tolerant bacteria appeared in the guts of mice even after their cages were cleaned with sanitizing wipes.

Currently, the enterococcus bacteria can only be killed with a 70% alcohol solution, according to NPR, though It's unclear if the bacteria will mutate to tolerate higher concentrations, or even build total resistance.

The study authors say this doesn't mean people should give up hand sanitizers altogether, but there's a strong indication washing with soap and water is still the best way to eliminate germs."

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Depiction of alcohol eliminating hand germs
2. Depiction of alcohol-tolerant enterococcus bacteria
3. Depiction of long-term bacteria analysis
4. Depiction of bacteria testing on mice

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Alcohol-based disinfectants are widely used to eliminate germs, and have proven effective against reducing infections like those caused by the staphylococcus bacteria."

"But a recent study noticed a rise enterococcal infections, suggesting that the bacteria that causes it may have developed a tolerance to alcohol."

"Researchers analyzed 139 types of bacteria from 1997 to 2015 and found that on average, those taken after 2009 tolerated alcohol more than pre- 2004 strains."

"Further testing showed that the alcohol-tolerant bacteria appeared in the guts of mice even after their cages were cleaned with sanitizing wipes."


SOURCES:
CNN, NPR
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/02/health/hand-sanitizer-bacteria-resistance-study/index.html
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/08/02/635017716/some-bacteria-are-becoming-more-tolerant-of-hand-sanitizers-study-finds