Performance analysis of exam gloves used for aseptic rodent surgery
Aseptic technique includes the use of sterile surgical gloves for survival surgeries in rodents to minimize the incidence of infections. Exam gloves are much less expensive than are surgical gloves and may represent a cost-effective, readily available option for use in rodent surgery. This study examined the effectiveness of surface disinfection of exam gloves with 70% isopropyl alcohol or a solution of hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid (HP-PA) in reducing bacterial contamination. Performance levels for asepsis were met when gloves were negative for bacterial contamination after surface disinfection and sham 'exertion' activity. According to these criteria, 94% of HP-PA-disinfected gloves passed, compared with 47% of alcohol-disinfected gloves. In addition, the effect of autoclaving on the integrity of exam gloves was examined, given that autoclaving is another readily available option for aseptic preparation. Performance criteria for glove integrity after autoclaving consisted of: the ability to don the gloves followed by successful simulation of wound closure and completion of stretch tests without tearing or observable defects. Using this criteria, 98% of autoclaved nitrile exam gloves and 76% of autoclaved latex exam gloves met performance expectations compared with the performance of standard surgical gloves (88% nitrile, 100% latex). The results of this study support the use of HP-PA-disinfected latex and nitrile exam gloves or autoclaved nitrile exam gloves as viable cost-effective alternatives to sterile surgical gloves for rodent surgeries.