The origin of this unique disinfectant dates back to the Czechoslovak army research in the seventies of the last century and its definitive finalization is already a work of a private subject in the nineties. This disinfectant based on polymers with organically fixed iodine was developed for the purpose of use in presumed war conflicts and humanitarian missions all over the world. Its main advantage is ensuring the safety (against infection transmission) for the injured and the ill persons, as well as after all for the intervening medical workers
National Health Institute
Epidemiology and Microbiology Centre
National Reference Laboratory for Disinfection and Sterilization
Lodine and its ethanol solutions (tincture of iodine) as well as water solutions of potassium iodide (Lugol's solution) have been used as effective disinfectants for a long time. Nevertheless, their usability is considerably limited due to relatively quick evaporation of iodine for the following reasons: Shortened storage time at strictly limited (temperature) conditions. Shortened action time when applied (i.e. shorter remanent effectivity). Undesirable penetration into the patient's body, risks in case of the patient's suffering from thyroid gland diseases, development of an allergy to iodine.
In the forties of the 20th century, these weak spots were partially eliminated by introduction of a newer disinfectant formed by physical bond of potassium triiodide to polymeric molecules of polyvinylpyrrolidone (abbreviated "Povidon, PVP"). As this product shows lower iodine release, its penetration into the body is lower and the follow up undesirable reactions less intensive. The iodine release is, however, far from negligible. For that reason, all Povidon-iodine-containing pharmaceuticals should not be applied with the patients having an allergy to iodine, suffering from thyroid disorders, heart insufficiency, inflammatory skin diseases (dermatitis herpetiformis Duhring) or with pregnant or breast-feeding women or with children up to six or even four years of age.
The PVP itself is water soluble. Its effectiveness, however, is decreased mainly by proteins (blood) which change active iodine into ineffective iodide. At the temperatures higher than 35°C, the iodine in the preparation volatilizes which, again, shortens its action time on the skin.
The temperature range for storage of these disinfectants is relatively limited as well. The storage temperatures usually range from 10°C to 25°C because undesirable reactions take place at higher temperatures. There are many PVP-based preparations such as Betadine (ointment, solution), Jox (solution, aerosol), Jodonal, Jofam, Dermanios, Braunovidon and others.
There is a fundamental difference between Gelacide C® and all the aforementioned preparations:
The effective biocidal component in Gelacide C® is not active iodine but iodotrichloride (or more precisely iodotrichlorous acid). These compounds were used as disinfectants in water solution as early as the beginning of the 20th century. Later, it was abstained from using them because of their relatively high aggressiveness.
In Gelacide C® the anion of the iodotrichlorous acid is relatively strongly bound. This compound is water insoluble, there is almost zero extraction of the anion of the mentioned acid which means that it does not penetrate into the patient's body.
The mechanism of the biocidal action of Gelacide C® is as follows: When a microbial cell comes into contact with the surface of the Gelacide C® particle, it takes over a fraction of the ICl4 anion and becomes inactive. This is an important difference between Gelacide C® and the PVP-based preparations (and generally all liquid disinfectants). As no fixed layer of liquid is formed around microbial cells there is no resistance against penetration of the biocidal substance from the solution onto the cell membrane. The effective concentration of the biocidal substance on the cellular surface can therefore lower by several digit positions if compared with other disinfectants. The fixed bond of the effective substance also guarantees the long-term action of Gelacide C® which means that the preparation remains effective up to 3 hours after application.
As for the health risks, it should be pointed out that the minimized iodine penetration into the patient's blood circulation through the skin is one of the great advantages of this preparation.
This fact has been shown using the radioisotope method by which the iodine content in the blood after application of various iodine preparations was determined. The iodine content in the blood is given in milligrams and related to the surface of 100 cm2 and the time interval of 1 hour.
Tincture of Iodine: 5.7 mg, Iodonal – PVP active substance: 1.18 mg
Gelacide C® active substance: 0.175 mg which is almost one digit position lower if compared with PVP
|Povidone-iodine-based Products||Gelacide C|
|Expiration||2-3 years||5 years|
|Storage Temperatures||10 to 25°C||up to 40°C|
|Efficacy Time after Application||No data||up to 3 hours|
|Iodine Penetration through the Skin||1,18 mg||0,175 mg|
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