Antimicrobial Test Methods in the European Union



Antimicrobial Test Methods in the European Union


Lionel Pineau



In Europe, any biocidal product falling under the scope of European Medical Devices Directive (MDD) 93/42/EEC1 and, in the future, the regulation (EU) 2017/7452 or under the scope of European Biocides Regulation 528/20123 shall be tested according to the test methods developed by Technical Committee 216 of the European Committee for Standardization and listed in the European standard EN 14885.4 These tests are used to support claims appropriate to their intended application. Other test methods can be used when the models specified in the standards are not sufficient and/or appropriate to demonstrate the product claim (eg, activity against biofilm).

In Europe, three different areas of application are defined for antiseptics and disinfectants:



  • Medicine (hospitals, medical facilities and dental institutions, laundries and kitchens supplying products directly for the patient)


  • Veterinary area


  • Food, industrial, domestic, and institutional areas (processing, distribution, and retailing of food of animal or vegetable origin)

For each area, EN 14885 specifies European standards to which products should conform to support their claims for microbicidal activity (Tables 63.1, 63.2 and 63.3). This standard is also intended to enable users of the product to understand the antimicrobial efficacy information provided by the manufacturer and assist competent bodies in assessing claims made by the manufacturer. Even if this approach could be considered comparable to what is done in other countries or regions to register a chemical disinfectant, the definitions, methods used, and performance requirements are different. The most important differences concern the nature and definition of the products intended to be tested. In some countries like in United States33 or in Australia,34 some chemicals can be used to sterilize critical medical devices (eg, products labeled as sterilants), whereas in Europe, the terms sterility, sterile, sterilization, or sterilant are not defined in this series of European disinfectant testing standards and a disinfectant cannot be regarded as a sterilant; sterilization requirements are defined in other European (EN) and/or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards (chapter 70).


TEST CATEGORIES

In the EN chemical disinfection standards, four categories of tests are described:



  • Phase 1 tests: quantitative suspension tests to demonstrate that an active substance or a product under development presents bactericidal, fungicidal, or sporicidal activity in fixed conditions (obligatory test conditions) without considering the use conditions specified by the manufacturer. In that case, the contact time and the temperature to be tested are fixed (see Table 63.4).


  • Phase 2, step 1 tests: quantitative suspension tests to establish that a product has bactericidal, fungicidal, sporicidal, or virucidal activity simulating practical conditions. Tests shall be performed first in obligatory tests conditions, and some additional test conditions are permitted.


  • Phase 2, step 2 tests: quantitative tests equivalent to phase 2 step 1 tests but performed against microorganisms dried on test surfaces (with obligatory and additional test conditions)


  • Phase 3 tests: field tests under practical use conditions. Validated methodology for this type of test is not yet available.

Phase 1 and 2 tests are conducted to establish the broad spectrum of microbial activity of the disinfectant. They can be comparable to potency tests because they are described in the United States requirements such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 510(k)

guidance document for liquid chemical sterilants and high-level disinfectant.33 Phase 3 tests are field trials performed to establish the performance of a product under actual use conditions. They correspond to simulated use tests or in use tests described in US and Australian regulations.33,34








TABLE 63.1 Medical area—standard test methods to be used to substantiate claims for products (as of May, 2019)























































































































































Activity Claims


Phase/Step


Type and/or Purpose of Product


Hygienic Hand Rub


Hygienic Hand Wash


Surgical Hand Rub and Surgical Hand Wash


Surface Disinfection


Instrument Disinfection


Textile Disinfection


Water Disinfectant


Mechanical Action


Without


With


Bactericidal


2.1


EN 137275


EN 137275


EN 137275


*


**


2.2


EN 15006


EN 14997


EN 127918


EN 136979


EN 1661510


EN 1456111


EN 1661612


**


Yeasticidal


2.1


EN 1362413


EN 1362413


EN 1362413


***


**


2.2


**


EN 136979


EN 1661510


EN 1456214


EN 1661612


**


Fungicidal


2.1


**


EN 1362413


EN 1362413


*


**


2.2


**


EN 136979


*


EN 1456214


EN 1661612


**


Tuberculocidal


2.1


EN 1434815


EN 1434815


**


EN 1434815


EN 1434815


EN 1434815


**


2.2


**


*


*


EN 1456316


EN 1661612


**


Mycobactericidal


2.1


EN 1434815


EN 1434815


**


EN 1434815


EN 1434815


EN 1434815


**


2.2


**


*


*


EN 1456316


EN 1661612


**


Virucidal


2.1


EN 1447617


EN 1447617


**


EN 1447617


EN 1447617


EN 1447617


**


2.2


*


*


**


***


*


***


**


Sporicidal


2.1


**


***


***


*


**


2.2


**


***


*


*


**


**


Legionella


2.1


**


**


**


**


EN 1362318


Abbreviations: *, no work items are yet approved, but relevant standards may become available in the future; **, no intention to develop a test; ***, work item approved.









TABLE 63.2 Veterinary area—standard test methods to be used to substantiate claims for products (as of May 2019)























































































































































Activity Claims


Phase/Step


Type and/or Purpose of Product


Surface Disinfection


Teat Disinfection


Immersion of Contaminated Objects High-Level Soiling


Hygienic Hand Rub Hygienic Hand Wash Surgical Hand Rub and Surgical Hand Wash


Mechanical Action


Without


With


Bactericidal


2.1


EN 165619


*


EN 165619


EN 165619


EN 137275


2.2a


EN 1434920


*


**


EN 1434920


EN 14997 or EN 15006 or EN 127918


2.2b


EN 1643721


NA


**


**


**


Yeasticidal


2.1


EN 165722


*


**


EN 165722


**


2.2a


EN 1643823


NA


**


EN 1643823


**


2.2b


*


*


**


**


**


Fungicidal


2.1


EN 165722


*


**


EN 165722


EN 1362413


2.2a


EN 1643823


NA


**


EN 1643823


**


2.2b


*


*


**


**


**


Mycobactericidal


2.1


EN 1420424


*


**


EN 1420424


**


2.2a


*


*


**


*


**


2.2b


*


NA


**


**


**


Virucidal


2.1


EN 1467525


*


**


EN 1467525


EN 1447617


2.2a


*


*


**


*


**


2.2b


*


NA


**


**


**


Sporicidal


2.1


*


*


**


*


**


2.2a


*


*


**


*


**


2.2b


*


*


**


**


**


Abbreviations: *, no work items are yet approved, but relevant standards may become available in the future; **, no intention to develop a test; NA, not available.


a Nonporous surfaces.

b Porous surfaces.

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May 9, 2021 | Posted by in MICROBIOLOGY | Comments Off on Antimicrobial Test Methods in the European Union
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