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Low concentration alcohol as an antimicrobial - And the side effects on tissue (Aug/07/2009 )

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And what about another idea I just had in mind. Lower the pH a bit to inhibit fungal growth (e.g. 5.5 as on skin) and/or adding lysozyme against at least some bacteria? Don't know if lysozyme works at that pH, but perhaps worth a try??


ChrisHarris on Aug 7 2009, 10:49 AM said:

OK folks, a bit of cowboy science here!

I'm looking to store a sizeable lump of tissue (a length of umbilical cord) at room temperature in saline for a few days and am looking at ways to stop bugs growing on it.

Antibiotics are out of the picture for various reasons, so I'm looking at low % alcohol as a possibility.

I did a quick trial using 7% IPA, and this seemed to be pretty effective at stopping bugs growing.

Obviously it isn't too healthy for tissue to be submerged in alcohol, but the cells I'm after are well buried in the tissue, so may well be OK.

I've done a quick Google and haven't found much (surprisingly!).

Does anyone have any thoughts or helpful links?



If you want viable cells alcohol (even low concs) is probably not a good idea.

Your material will be reasonably contaminated. I would suggest a very broad spectrum antibiotic combo plus an antimycotic.

A good mix is imipenem/gentamycin/flucytosine (12/50/10 ug/ml). You can use iv drug preparations of each. Imipenem is marketed as a combination with an enzyme inhibitor (Imipenem/cilastatin) (drug name: tienam or primaxim) and flucytosine as ancobon. Gentamycin is a generic drug.

The combo is not cytotoxic and should be fine for your purposes. (it has been used experimentally to decontaminate allografts (eg donor kidney).

Amphotericin B can be substituted fof flucytosine, but is more cytotoxic.

Hope this helps

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