Copper has potent biocidal properties. Copper ions, either alone or in copper complexes, have been used for centuries to disinfect liquids, solids and human tissue. This manuscript reviews the biocidal mechanisms of copper and the current usages of copper and copper compounds as antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents, with emphasis on novel health related applications. These applications include the reduction of transmission of health-associated (nosocomial) pathogens, foodborne diseases, and dust mites loads and treatment of fungal foot infections and wounds. Possible future applications include filtration devices capable of deactivating viruses in solutions, such as contaminated blood products and breastmilk.
Keywords: Copper, biocide, fungicide, antiviral, acaricidal, nosocomial infections, wound healing
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