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1.
Gels ; 8(2)2022 Jan 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667104

ABSTRACT

Hand hygiene, social distancing, and face covering are considered the first protection against Coronavirus spreading. The high demand during the COVID-19 emergency has driven a frenetic production and marketing of hand sanitizer gels. Nevertheless, the effect of the gelling agent and its amount on the effectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHSs) needs to be clarified. We presented a systematic study on the effect of the characteristics and concentration of the most employed excipients on the properties and antimicrobial activity of ABHSs. Three different gelling agents, carbopol, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), and hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC), at four different concentrations were used to prepare ABHSs. Viscosity, spreadability, delivery from commercial dispensers, evaporation rate, rubbing time, and hand distribution of the ABHSs were then explored. Biocidal activity of selected ABHSs was evaluated in vitro on ATCC and clinical strains. The studied ABHS can be considered bioactive and comfortable. Nevertheless, the cellulose polymers and ethanol interactions led to a slight but significant reduction in the biocidal activity compared with carbopol-based formulations. Our results underline the importance of the gelling agent properties and support the choice of carbopol as one of the best thickener agents in ABHS formulations.

2.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 350, 2021 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186555

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The SARS-CoV-2 infection has emerged as a rapidly spreading infection. Today it is relatively easy to isolate Covid-19 symptomatic cases, while remains problematic to control the disease spread by infected but symptom-free individuals. The control of this possible path of contagion requires drastic measures of social distancing, which imply the suspension of most activities and generate economic and social issues. This study is aimed at estimating the percentage of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in a geographic area with relatively low incidence of Covid-19. METHODS: Blood serum samples from 388 healthy volunteers were analyzed for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG by using an ELISA assay based on recombinant viral nucleocapsid protein. RESULTS: We found that 7 out of 388 healthy volunteers, who declared no symptoms of Covid-19, like fever, cough, fatigue etc., in the preceding 5 months, have bona fide serum anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, that is 1.8% of the asymptomatic population (95% confidence interval: 0.69-2.91%). CONCLUSIONS: The estimated range of asymptomatic individuals with anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG should be between 26,565 and 112, 350. In the same geographic area, there are 4665 symptomatic diagnosed cases.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Incidence , Italy/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Young Adult
3.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(4)2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063402

ABSTRACT

The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a broader use of masks by both professionals and the general population. This resulted in a severe worldwide shortage of devices and the need to increase import and activate production of safe and effective surgical masks at the national level. In order to support the demand for testing surgical masks in the Italian context, Universities provided their contribution by setting up laboratories for testing mask performance before releasing products into the national market. This paper reports the effort of seven Italian university laboratories who set up facilities for testing face masks during the emergency period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Measurement set-ups were built, adapting the methods specified in the EN 14683:2019+AC. Data on differential pressure (DP) and bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) of 120 masks, including different materials and designs, were collected over three months. More than 60% of the masks satisfied requirements for DP and BFE set by the standard. Masks made of nonwoven polypropylene with at least three layers (spunbonded-meltblown-spunbonded) showed the best results, ensuring both good breathability and high filtration efficiency. The majority of the masks created with alternative materials and designs did not comply with both standard requirements, resulting in suitability only as community masks. The effective partnering between universities and industries to meet a public need in an emergency context represented a fruitful example of the so-called university "third-mission".


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Laboratories , Masks/standards , Pandemics , Humans , Italy
4.
Giornale italiano di medicina del lavoro ed ergonomia ; 42(2):73-81, 2020.
Article | WHO COVID | ID: covidwho-632582

ABSTRACT

SUMMARY: During COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Italian Government has approved Law Decree no. 18 of 17 march 2020, in which art. 15 allows enterprises to produce, import and commercialize surgical masks notwithstanding the current rules of product certification. It is just required that the interested enterprises send to the Italian National Institute of Health a selfcertification in which they declare the technical characteristics of the masks and that masks are produced according to the safety requirements. In this context, a technical-scientific unit was established at the University of Napoli Federico II to provide interested enterprises with state-of-the-art consultancy, testing and measurement services, adhering to rigorous scientific protocols. Characterization tests were carried out on 163 surgical masks and/or materials for their construction and they have enabled the identification of pre-screening criteria to simplify the procedure for evaluating surgical masks using methods for assessing the filtration efficiency of particles and aerosols. Based on experimental results, it has been observed that a filtration efficiency for particles with sizes larger that 650 nm (PFE>650) exceeding 35% might guarantees a bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) higher than 95% while BFE values higher than 98% are obtained when the PFE>650 is larger than 40%. PFE measurement is extremely simpler with respect to BFE, the latter being time-consuming and requiring specific equipment and methods for its realization. Many tested materials have shown the capability to assure high filtration efficiencies but Spundonded-Meltblown-Spunbonded (SMS), that are layers of non-woven fabric with different weights of Meltblown, can simultaneously guarantee high particle filtration efficiencies with pressure drop values (breathability) in the limits to classify the surgical masks as Type II/IIR. In fact, the fabric products analyzed so far have not been able to simultaneously guarantee adequate BFE and breathability values. On the contrary, Spunbonds of adequate weights can virtually verify both requirements and accredit themselves as possible materials for the production of surgical masks, at least of Type I. Further studies are needed to verify the possibility of producing low-cost, reusable surgical masks that could meet the criteria of circular economy. A seguito dellepidemia da COVID-19, in Italia lart. 15 del decreto-legge 17 marzo 2020 n. 18 ha permesso di produrre, importare e immettere in commercio mascherine chirurgiche in deroga alle vigenti disposizioni mediante linvio allIstituto Superiore di Sanita di una autocertificazione da parte dei soggetti interessati nella quale siano attestate le caratteristiche tecniche delle mascherine e sia dichiarato che le stesse rispettano tutti i requisiti di sicurezza. In questo ambito, e stato istituito presso lUniversita degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, un presidio tecnico-scientifico per fornire alle aziende interessate servizi di consulenza, prova e misurazione, allo stato dellarte e aderenti a rigorosi protocolli scientifici. Nel corso di queste attivita, il presidio tecnico scientifico ha effettuato prove di caratterizzazione su 163 mascherine chirurgiche e/o materiali per la loro costruzione. Queste hanno permesso di individuare dei criteri di pre-screening per semplificare la procedura di valutazione delle mascherine chirurgiche utilizzando metodi di valutazione dellefficienza di filtrazione di polveri e di aerosol. In particolare, si e osservato che una efficienza di filtrazione polveri con diametro superiore a 650 nm (PFE>650) maggiore del 35% garantisce un livello di efficienza di filtrazione batterica (BFE) superiore al 95% mentre valori della BFE superiori al 98% sono ottenuti quando il valore della PFE>650 e superiore al 40%. La misura della PFE e una misura estremamente pio semplice rispetto alla prova di BFE che richiede tempo, specifiche attrezzature e metodi per la sua realizzazione. Alcuni materiali provati hanno mostrato la possibilita di garantire el vate efficienze di filtrazi ne ma solo gli Spundonded-Meltblown-Spunbonded (SMS) che sono stratificazioni di tessuto non tessuto a diverse grammature di Meltblown, riescono a garantire contemporaneamente alte efficienze di filtrazione polveri con i valori di perdite di carico (respirabilita) richiesti per classificare una mascherina chirurgica come Tipo II/IIR secondo la normativa vigente. Infatti, i prodotti in tessuto fino ad ora analizzati non sono stati in grado di garantire contemporaneamente adeguati valori di BFE e di respirabilita. Al contrario, assemblati di Spunbond di adeguata grammatura e spessore potrebbero virtualmente verificare entrambi i requisiti e accreditarsi come possibili materiali per la produzione di maschere chirurgiche di Tipo I. Ulteriori studi saranno necessari per verificare la possibilita di ottenere mascherine chirurgiche a basso costo e che possano essere riutilizzate nellottica di una maggiore sostenibilita ambientale e di una maggiore sicurezza degli approvvigionamenti.

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