Omnicide First Aid Gel represents a significant advance in the antimicrobial OTC arena. Although for regulatory approval purposes the active ingredient has to be listed as benzalkonium chloride, the real workhorse here is PHMB, PolyhexamethyleneBiguanide.
(from Wikipedia) “PHMB has been shown to be effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus (also the methicillin-resistant type, MRSA), Escherichia coli, Candida albicans (yeast), Aspergillusbrasiliensis (mold), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, and Klebsiellapneumoniae (carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae).”
(from Medscape) “A review of the literature demonstrates in-vivo and in-vitro safety and effectiveness of PHMB for a number of applications.
The mechanism of action of PHMB has been described in a number of articles. Broxton et al[34,35] demonstrated that maximal activity of the PHMB occurs at between pH 5-6 and that initially the biocide interacts with the surface of the bacteria and then is transferred to the cytoplasm and cytoplasmic membrane. Ikeda and colleagues36 showed that the cationic PHMB had little effect on neutral phospholipids in the bacterial membrane-its effect was mainly on the acidic negatively charged species where it induced aggregation leading to increased fluidity and permeability. This results in the release of lipopolysaccharides from the outer membrane, potassium ion efflux, and eventual organism death.”
As opposed to antibiotics, whose mechanism of action results in a relatively slow bactericidal effect which in turn yields increasingly resistant organisms over time, PHMB causes almost instantaneous bacterial cell membrane disruption and death.
The existing antibiotic ointments available in the OTC environment have been in existence for over 40 years. Not only are they ineffective against a variety of pathogenic bacteria, they themselves have been implicated by various researchers in the emergence of antibiotic resistant strains of multiple pathogens. Some medical authorities have even gone on the record, stating that the use of these ointments has no advantage over common petrolatum, i.e. Vaseline.
THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A DEMONSTRATED INSTANCE OF BACTERIAL RESISTANCE TO PHMB!!