Study: More Than 99% Reduction in CRE & MRSA on Polymers Treated with Agion® Antimicrobial Technology

May 4, 2015

Testing a range of medical-grade polymers, Sciessent found that those treated with its Agion® antimicrobial technology killed more than 99 percent of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Wakefield, MA (PRWEB) May 04, 2015

Sciessent, the leading provider of antimicrobial solutions, today announced the results of its antibiotic-resistance study. Testing a range of medical-grade polymers, Sciessent found that those treated with its Agion® antimicrobial technology killed more than 99 percent of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. In the case of multiple types of central-venous catheters, MRSA was reduced between 99.56 percent and 99.999 percent and CRE was eliminated by 99.9999 percent or more – with no viable bacteria detected 24 hours after inoculation for most catheter types.

According to the CDC, more than two million people become ill with antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Most recently, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) have dominated headlines due to outbreaks and their exceptionally high mortality rates – 20 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The spread of these infections occur through skin-to-skin or skin-to-surface contact and, in the healthcare setting, medical devices are some of the most common conduits.

Sciessent embarked on extensive testing of materials often used to make medical devices; comparing Agion antimicrobial-treated materials to their untreated counterparts when it came to reducing the growth of antibiotic-resistant organisms. It also tested a range of central-venous catheters, including pediatric, adult polyurethane and adult silicone. The treated and untreated catheters were inoculated with a high concentration of bacteria, including MRSA, CRE and other known antibiotic-resistant pathogens, and tested at predetermined time points. Sciessent found that the standard materials allowed MRSA and CRE to grow, while the Agion antimicrobial-treated materials showed significant reductions. In some cases, no viable bacteria were recovered.

“Despite healthcare organizations following infection-prevention procedures, there continues to be an increase in antibiotic-resistant infections and their associated costs globally,” said Dr. John G. Thomas, clinical microbiologist and professor emeritus. “The healthcare community needs to reevaluate and investigate practices and technologies that will minimize the risk of exposure to these multi-drug-resistant organisms if we want to avoid a post-antibiotic era. Sciessent’s report findings are a promising first step for the use of embedded, controlled-release antimicrobial technology on medical devices and other critical surfaces known to be sources of cross contamination. As part of a larger infection-prevention strategy, Sciessent’s embedded antimicrobials have proven high-kill rates for antibiotic-resistant pathogens like MRSA and CRE.”

“We are extremely impressed with the results of the testing, which provides yet another layer of proof to the efficacy of antimicrobial-treated medical devices and the role they can play in combating antibiotic-resistance,” said Lise Moloney, Sciessent’s director of business development, healthcare, who will be presenting the test findings this week at BIOMEDevice Boston. “Antibiotic-resistant pathogens are a major concern in the healthcare setting. In this testing, we demonstrated that medical polymers treated with the Agion antimicrobial technology can prevent the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Untreated polymers provide a surface that allows the resistant pathogens to not only survive but to grow.”

Test results at a glance:

  • Antimicrobial-treated catheters saw at least a six-log reduction in CRE vs. the standard catheters.
  • Antimicrobial-treated pediatric catheters saw more than a two-log reduction in MRSA; antimicrobial-treated adult polyurethane catheters saw a five-log reduction in MRSA.
  • No viable CRE bacteria were recovered from the antimicrobial-treated ABS, PC, PP and PEEK materials after 24 hours; MRSA was reduced by at least five-log in these materials.

Sciessent’s line of antimicrobial technology is based on silver and copper – two of the most highly effective antimicrobial agents. With medical devices containing its antimicrobials approved by the FDA, and clinical data to back their performance, the company’s technology works on the surface of products through the controlled release of elemental ions, which attack microbes and inhibit their growth.

For more information about the study, contact

About Sciessent LLC
Sciessent is a leading provider of customized antimicrobial solutions that enhance the value of customers’ products. Agion® antimicrobial solutions from Sciessent have been incorporated into a wide range of healthcare, industrial and consumer applications, including medical devices such as central-venous catheters and IV access ports, drinking-water applications like water filters and ice-making equipment, and textiles and apparel. The company’s brands include Agion, Agion Active and Sciessent Lava and are based on naturally occurring elements. Sciessent customers include leading international brands including Vygon, Medegen, Scotsman, Everpure, Follett, Honeywell, UnderArmour, Adidas, Reebok and Skechers.

About Dr. John G. Thomas
Dr. John G. Thomas is recognized as an international educator and global microbiologist. For more than 50 years, Dr. Thomas has been a clinical microbiologist in pathology, dentistry and medicine. His research emphasizes the biofilm connection between oral diseases and wound infections and he is the author of more than 50 publications. To contact Dr. Thomas, or learn more about his research, visit

The Agion® Antimicrobial is presently registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a preservative and bacteriostatic agent for use in treated articles under 40 CFR 152.25a. The information presented herein is not intended to support or endorse public health claims for treated articles. The Agion Antimicrobial is also used in medical devices under the Food and Drug Administration in the US; those medical device claims are based on safety and efficacy testing and are limited to those approved by FDA. In the EU, the Agion Antimicrobial is used in medical devices under the Medical Device Directive: those medical device claims are based on safety and efficacy testing and are limited to those approved by the designated Competent Authorities and/or Notified Bodies.