The potential of octenidine hydrochloride (WIN 41464-2) as a topical microbicide was measured both by in vitro death kinetics and reductions in numbers of bacteria on the skin of cynomolgus monkeys. Semilogarithmic survival curves were plotted to measure the microbicidal activity of various concentrations of octenidine against Staphylococcus aureus. The microbicidal activity of octenidine was also determined for Staphylococcus epidermidis, Proteus mirabilis, Streptococcus pyogenes, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, and Candida albicans. Death rates for the same microbial strains were compared with those obtained by using chlorhexidine gluconate. Octenidine concentrations of less than 1.5 microM (0.94 microgram/ml) caused a greater than 99% reduction of each microbial population within 15 min. Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most susceptible of the test organisms, and E. coli and C. albicans were the least susceptible. Octenidine was more active than chlorhexidine against each test strain. Skin-degerming activities of aqueous and formulated octenidine and formulated chlorhexidine were compared in single and multiple applications of these agents to the hand and foot surfaces of monkeys by using a glove-juice extraction procedure to measure the skin microflora. Aqueous octenidine, at a concentration of 0.2 to 1.6% reduced resident microflora populations from 90 to 99.98%, depending on the concentration and number of applications. Octenidine formulated at 2% in a surfactant-based vehicle exhibited significantly better skin-degerming activity than did either a nonmedicated vehicle or the Hibiclens brand of 4% chlorhexidine gluconate.
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