Merck Manual

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Professional Version

Practical Summary of Antiseptic and Disinfectant Use in Animals


Diane D. Addie

, PhD, BVMS,

Reviewed/Revised Jul 2022 | Modified Nov 2022
  • Clean first, before antisepsis/disinfection

  • Use appropriate concentrations of antiseptics/disinfectants

  • Consider toxicity risk when selecting a disinfectant

  • Consider risk of microbial resistance when selecting a disinfectant

  • Train staff well and provide all necessary tools to ensure execution of correct and comprehensive antiseptic and disinfection protocols

  • To eliminate spores: use bleach, accelerated hydrogen peroxide products, steam cleaning, iodine (15 minutes' contact), formaldehyde or glutaraldehyde

  • To eliminate parvovirus: use bleach, iodine scrub, potassium peroxymonosulfate, prolonged steam cleaning

  • To eliminate feline calicivirus (FCV): use bleach, ethanol, potassium peroxymonosulfate, steam cleaning

  • To eliminate ovine footrot: use 4% formaldehyde footbath

  • To eliminate MRSA: use 90% ethanol, iodine scrub, silver nanoparticles

  • To eliminate Salmonella from hospitals: use accelerated hydrogen peroxide or potassium peroxymonosulfate

  • To eliminate E coli from hospitals: use accelerated hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine, silver nanoparticles or potassium peroxymonosulfate

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