Interlaboratory reproducibility of a test method following 4-field test methodology to evaluate the susceptibility of Clostridium difficile spores

September 2019
S Gemein, J Gebel, B Christiansen, H Martiny, L Vossebein, FHH Brill, M Decius, M Eggers, T Koburger-Janssen, M Meckel, S Werner, B Hunsinger, T Selhorst, G Kampf, M Exner
Bibliografische Daten 
Journal of Hospital Infection, Volume 103, Issue 1, Pages 78–84

Sporicidal surface disinfection is recommended to control transmission of Clostridium difficile in healthcare facilities. EN 17126 provides a method to determine the sporicidal activity in suspension and has been approved as a European standard. In addition, a sporicidal surface test has been proposed.

To determine the interlaboratory reproducibility of a test method for evaluating the susceptibility of a C. difficile spore preparation to a biocidal formulation following the 4-field test (EN 16615 methodology).

Nine laboratories participated. C. difficile NCTC 13366 spores were used. Glutaraldehyde (1% and 6%; 15 min) and peracetic acid (PAA; 0.01% and 0.04%; 15 min) were used to determine the spores' susceptibility in suspension in triplicate.

One-percent glutaraldehyde revealed a mean decimal log10 reduction of 1.03 with variable results in the nine laboratories (0.37–1.49) and a reproducibility of 0.38. The effect of 6% glutaraldehyde was stronger (mean: 2.05; range: 0.96–4.29; reproducibility: 0.86). PAA revealed similar results. An exemplary biocidal formulation based on 5% PAA was used at 0.5% (non-effective concentration) and 4% (effective concentration) to determine the sporicidal efficacy (4-field test) under clean conditions in triplicate with a contact time of 15 min. When used at 0.5% it demonstrated an overall log10 reduction of 2.68 (range: 2.35–3.57) and at 4% of 4.61 (range: 3.82–5.71). The residual contamination on the three primarily uncontaminated test fields was <50 cfu/25 cm2 in one out of nine laboratories (0.5%) and in seven out of nine laboratories (4%).

The interlaboratory reproducibility seems to be robust.