9 April 2013

Research shows that superbugs are killed by ACTICOAT◊ silver-coated antimicrobial dressings

Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN), the global medical technology business, today announces that in-vitro study results suggesting ACTICOAT Silver-Coated Antimicrobial Dressings are bactericidal against some antibiotic resistant organisms carrying the NDM-1 enzyme, often referred to as ‘superbugs’.

An in-vitro laboratory study showed ACTICOAT Dressings, containing patented Nanocrystalline Silver technology, can kill the antibiotic resistant enzyme, New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1 bacteria strain)³ which is carried by four of the same CRE bacteria cited by the CDC1 . In this study, ACTICOAT Dressings killed Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp.,³ which are responsible for most carbapenem resistance in the United States¹.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued statements recently to warn the public about antibiotic resistant organisms like carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), raising concerns about the rise in the prevalence of these organisms and their associated high mortality rates¹. While the prevalence of CRE varies by geographic region, CRE organisms can spread their resistant genes to common bacteria, potentially resulting in the spread of untreatable infections.

Reducing the spread of CRE is challenging for hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes because these antibiotic resistant bacteria develop resistance to even the most powerful antibiotics which are often reserved as a last resort. According to the CDC, almost all CRE infections happen to patients who are receiving serious medical care².

Dr. Jose Vazquez, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Senior Staff, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI uses ACTICOAT Dressings in his practice. He says: “Any opening in the skin provides an entry point for antibiotic resistant organisms. I use ACTICOAT Dressings in my practice because they provide an antimicrobial barrier that helps protect wounds and incision sites from external contamination. I continue to see excellent clinical results because ACTICOAT Dressings are bactericidal against five strains of bacteria that carry the NDM-1 enzyme and 360+ pathogens including 188 strains of MRSA.”

The Nanocrystalline Silver in ACTICOAT Dressings is different from the silvers used in other dressings because of its potency, fast kill action of 30 minutes, and broad spectrum activity. ACTICOAT provides bactericidal activity for up to seven days, so it helps protect patients with wounds or incisions from environmental contamination, even after they leave the hospital. ACTICOAT is contra-indicated in patients with known hypersensitivity to any of the components of the product. (If signs of a sensitivity reaction develop during use, treatment should be discontinued.)

“We share the same concerns as the CDC about antibiotic resistant organisms and are pleased that ACTICOAT Dressings are bactericidal against five different strains of bacteria that carry NDM-1 carbapenemases,” said Tom Dugan, President, North America, Advanced Wound Management division, Smith & Nephew. “Making this information widely available is part of our obligation to address public health issues and support clinicians and the patients they serve, helping them to reduce the human and economic costs of wounds.”

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit www.smith-nephew.com.

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Phil Cowdy
Smith & Nephew  +44 (0)20 7401 7646

Amy Phillips
EVC Group  +1 412 327 9499

About Smith & Nephew

Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping improve people's lives. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma, Smith & Nephew has almost 10,500 employees and a presence in more than 90 countries. Annual sales in 2012 were more than $4.1 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE: SN, NYSE: SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit:  www.smith-nephew.com

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1) CDC 2012 CRE Toolkit. Guidance for Control of Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae.

2) CDC Vital Signs Report, March 2013

3) Hope et al. (2012) The In-Vitro antibacterial activity of nanocrystalline silver dressings against bacteria with NDM-1 carbapenemase. Presented at European Wound Management Association Conference. Vienna.