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Various antiseptic agents, such as chlorhexidine, are used for different applications, e.g. in healthcare, veterinary medicine, animal production and household products, including cosmetics. However, not all antiseptic agents provide significant health benefits, especially in some products used in human medicine (alcohol-based hand rubs, antimicrobial soaps). While some products (antimicrobial soaps, surface disinfectants, instrument disinfectants, wound antiseptics) may contain one or more biocidal agents with a comparable antimicrobial efficacy but large differences in their potential for microbial adaptation and tolerance. An increased bacterial resistance has been described for various antimicrobial agents, sometimes including a cross-resistance to antibiotics. The book is the first comprehensive reference resource on antiseptic agents, including their efficacy, natural and acquired resistance, adaptation, and cross-resistance. It also discusses their and appropriate use in terms of a balance between their efficacy and the risk of acquired bacterial resistance / tolerance. Focusing on human and veterinary medicine and household products, it helps readers make informed decisions concerning against antiseptic products based on their composition. The book contributes to reduce any unnecessary selection pressure towards emerging pathogens and to keep the powerful antiseptic agents for all those applications that have a clear benefit (e.g. reduction of healthcare-associated infection).
Gunter Kampf is an Associated Professor for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine at the University of Greifswald, Germany. He has published more than 180 mostly international articles on various aspects of infection control, such as hand hygiene and surface disinfection. In 2017 he published his second textbook on hand hygiene in German as an editor. A recognized medical specialist in hygiene and environmental medicine, he worked for a manufacturer of chemical disinfectants for 18 years, the last 5 years of which as Director of Science. Since 2016 he has been self-employed and continues his scientific work together with infection control consultancy for hospitals, medical practices and companies with infection control issues.