Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

June 27, 2001 | Volume 2, Issue 6

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New Polymer Coating Kills Germs

Elderly and infirm could be coated directly

BOSTON, MA--A new polymer coating may help guard against infections spread by bacteria lurking on doorknobs, stethoscopes and nursing home residents, says an authoritative new study.

The coating, known as Hexyl-PVP, was introduced in a paper appearing last week in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Structure of Hexyl-PVP, showing
patented receptor mechanism

According to scientists, the polymer is able to kill 99.9% of bacteria like Staphylococcus sp., Pseudomonas sp., and E. coli, upon direct contact with the offending organism. Viruses and fungi are also highly susceptible.

Moreover, a unique and patented receptor mechanism allows Hexyl-PVP to bind covalently, and thereby irreversibly, to a remarkable array of surfaces - ranging from sand, metal, and concrete, to skin, mucous membranes, and hair.

"Basically, you could coat just about anything with the stuff and it'd be permanently prevented from harboring most types of infectious agents," says Dr. Joerg Tilleer of the Mayo Clinic, where the compound was developed.

"Think about it!" continues an animated Tilleer. "Intravenous tubing, stethoscopes, surgical tools, even the donuts you eat in the morning - all completely sterile and safe from disease, for good!"

"And, the best thing is, you could coat people with it directly, to discourage the spread of nosocomial infections and whatnot. I myself got coated eleven months ago, and haven't been sick since!"

"Ultimately, the hope is that bacterial colonization of both objects and people can be prevented," says a glowing Tilleer. "First, all vented patients will be coated. Then, people in convalescent facilities everywhere. Finally, the world!"

While funding for the mass-production of Hexyl-PVP remains billions of dollars short, health care providers are being advised to approach their health-conscious seniors about their coating options as soon as possible, so that their eventual coating with the substance will "be less of a shock when it does happen."

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