A standardised test procedure is described in which finger-tips are inoculated with broth cultures of organisms (Staphylococcus aureus, Staphyloccocus saprophyticus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa): counts are made from washings of hands after disinfection with various antiseptic-detergents, alcoholic solutions, or unmedicated soap. 70% alcohol, with or without chlorhexidine, was the most effective preparation. The two antiseptic detergents showed variable results, but against Gram-negative bacilli neither was significantly more effective than plain soap. Some tests were also made on the death rate of organisms dried on the skin without disinfection.
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