What are the antimicrobial paints and coatings and why they are important in our everyday living environments.
Human beings and pathogens (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) coexisted for millennia, and continue to co-habitat the environment at this time.
Currently, when the whole world is trying to fight recently emerged coronavirus COVID-19 issues overshadowed other pathogens. However, they did not go away and continue to threaten human health and wellbeing.
In the human body immune system works as a shield for pathogens to penetrate and a mechanism to fight when they succeed contaminating a body. When the immune system is compromised pathogens thrive and cause many diseases some of which result in a lethal outcome. That is exactly what happens with many Covid-19 patients.
However, humans developed a number of technical means which nature failed to provide to prevent pathogens to enter the body of a human being (and an animal). One of these means is an antibacterial coating of different surfaces to prevent the deposition of pathogens and survival remaining active for a long period of time.
The root cause of a large number of these infections arises from microbial biofilms that colonize on surfaces of residential and medical facilities, equipment, and other items, which people touch.
Biofilm infections are accompanied by increased resistance to antimicrobial therapy and immune clearance, severely limiting treatment options and leading to life-threatening disease. The research found out that biofilm-related infections are often polymicrobial. Multi-species biofilms, particularly those involving bacterial and fungal pathogens, are more challenging to treat.
Fungal diseases remain difficult to diagnose, mortality rates remain high, and antifungal drug resistance continues to limit therapeutic options.
Stopping biofilm formation before it starts.
A key step in biofilm formation is the initial adherence to the surface. Once attached, the infectious agents replicate, colonize the object, and embed themselves within a protective extracellular matrix. Biofilm is often drug-resistant.
One solution is to kill or prevent adhesion of pathogens on surfaces via the delivery of antibacterial agents from the surface of materials/devices.
Our antibacterial coatings effectively fight both aerobic and anaerobic, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria including those resistant to antibiotics. We had our antibacterial coatings tested on numerous bacterial strains some of which cause pneumonia and inflammation in lung epithelial and tissues, which often develops as a result of COVID infection, which compromises the immune system in Human beings allowing pathogens to thrive.
GrapheneCa is providing a variety of coatings for different types of surfaces, which can be used in commercial and private spaces.
The Superbugs – one of the main challenges for humanity
Bacteria and fungi are constantly finding new ways to avoid the effects of the antibiotics that are used to treat the infections they cause. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) happens when the germs no longer respond to the antibiotics designed to kill them. If antibiotics lose their effectiveness, then we lose the ability to treat infections and control public health threats. These microorganisms are known as superbugs.
1THE REVIEW ON ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE CHAIRED BY JIM O’NEILL MAY 2016
- More than 2.8 million antibiotic-resistant infections occur in the United States each year, and more than 35,000 people die as a result
- In 2017, the World Health Organization published a list of 12 families of bacteria that pose the greatest threat to human health.
- No new classes of antibiotics have been developed in the last 50 years
- Furthermore, any new drug could take around 10 years to come to market
- AMR is predicted to cause 10 million extra deaths by 2050 if no action is taken, according to O’Neill’s report.1
If we fail to act, we are looking at an almost unthinkable scenario where antibiotics no longer work, and we are cast back into the dark ages of medicine"
– David Cameron, former UK Prime Minister
Bacteria role during the viral pandemic
Superinfections and coinfections can augment pathogenesis, increasing the morbidity and mortality of viral infections. Superinfection is an "infection following a previous infection especially when caused by microorganisms that are resistant or have become resistant to the antibiotics used earlier. Superinfections and co-infections are common in respiratory viral illnesses.
Bacterial resistance rates could lead to more deaths:
"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased use of antibiotics, which ultimately will lead to higher bacterial resistance rates that will impact the burden of disease and deaths during the pandemic and beyond," said director-general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
- Majority of deaths associated with the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 were not thought to be caused by the H1N1 virus itself, but rather by secondary bacterial pneumonia.1
- Bacterial superinfection was also associated with the higher morbidity and mortality rates seen during the 1957 and 1968 pandemics.1
- During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, bacterial superinfections were identified in 29%-55% of deaths.1
- Moreover, most of the current infection control protocols aim to prevent transmission and cross infection by SARS-CoV-2, missing the prevention of bacterial or fungal secondary infection. Secondary infection was found in 50% of non-surviving COVID-19 patients.2
1 Woo Joo Kwon, Gabrielle Li, Matthew Zheng, Harleen Kaur, Noah Magbual, and Sudeb Dalai (Stanford University School of Medicine). Superinfections and Coinfections in COVID-19 — Separating the signal from the noise MedPage TODAY, April 28, 2020
2 Pengcheng Zhou, Zhenguo Liu, Yuhua Chen, Yinzong Xiao, Xun Huang, and Xue-Gong Fan. Bacterial and fungal infections in COVID-19 patients: A matter of concern, Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2020 Apr 22: 1–2.
3 Amina Zafar, Why overuse of antibiotics in COVID-19 could have a lasting impact on health care, CBC News, Posted: Jun 21, 2020