The Role of CHG in Infection Control

A Standard of Care

For nearly 60 years, chlorhexidine has proven itself to be a trusted standard of care for the prevention of hospital-acquired infections.1 Its broad-spectrum efficacy and demonstrated safety have been put to use in more than 60 pharmaceutical products and medical devices—and this important antimicrobial is still finding new applications today.1

Proven Performance

A Heritage of Trust 

Chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) is a proven broad-spectrum antimicrobial that can effectively provide a 99.99% (4-log) reduction of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and yeast (fungi) for up to seven days.1,2 It has a broader spectrum of activity than other antimicrobials and a quicker kill rate than povidone-iodine antimicrobials—killing nearly 100% of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria in vitro within 30 seconds of application.1

Its ability to destroy most types of microorganisms may also mean that chlorhexidine may limit the risk of developing opportunistic infections.1 CHG works by binding to and damaging bacterial cell walls, disrupting the bacteria’s structure and osmotic balance to cause leakage of its contents and, ultimately, cell death.3

CHG plus alcohol pre-surgical skin antisepsis is recognized as superior to povidone-iodine for the prevention of surgical-site infections.4 In a preoperative skin preparation study in adults, using either a chlorhexidine–based scrub or povidone–iodine scrub and paint, the overall rate of surgical-site infection within 30 days of surgery was significantly lower in the chlorhexidine–alcohol group than in the povidone–iodine group (9.5% vs. 16.1%; P = 0.004; relative risk, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.41 to 0.85).4 This superiority is believed to be related to the more rapid action, persistent activity despite exposure to bodily fluids, and residual effect of CHG on the skin.4

When applied to or impregnated in medical devices or dressings, chlorhexidine can not only kill harmful pathogens but can also protect against microbial colonization and biofilm development.In fact, CHG-impregnated intravenous dressings has been proven effective in reducing the risk of catheter-related bloodstream infections.5 Additionally, a CHG dressing was shown to provide significant antimicrobial activity against a MRSA-contaminated surgical wound in a porcine, incision-wound model.5


Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs)

Hundreds of millions of patients are affected yearly by HAIs worldwide, leading to significant mortality and financial losses for health systems.6  The World Health Organization estimates that for every 100 hospitalized patients, 7 (in developed countries) and 10 (in developing countries) will develop HAIs.6


Demonstrated efficacy

In Vitro Efficacy Against Microorganisms Commonly Associated With CRBSI and SSI*

Chlorhexidine has proven itself to be a trusted standard of care for the prevention of HAIs with its sustained broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity.7

Gram-positive bacteria

MRSA - ATCC 6538

S. aureus - ATCC 33591

S. epidermidis - ATCC 12228

VRE - ATCC 51575

Gram-negative bacteria

E. coli - ATCC 8739

P. aeruginosa -ATCC 9027

K. pneumoniae - ATCC 4352


C. albicans - ATCC 10231


CRBSI = catheter-related bloodstream infections; SSI = surgical site infections.
*Note: Reduction in the colonization or microbial growth on the device has not been shown to correlate with a reduction in infections in patients. Clinical studies to evaluate reduction in infection have not been performed.


Custom Solutions and Future opportunities

BeneHold CHG antimicrobial adhesive technology can be customized to meet the needs of a wide range of applications and performance requirements.

If you are searching for an adhesive solution that offers the additional benefit of an antimicrobial agent, or would like more information on how you can take advantage of this unique BeneHold™ CHG adhesive technology, contact Avery Dennison Medical by completing the form below and a member of our team will contact you shortly.

CHG is incorporated directly into the adhesive

Option to tailor onset and duration of antimicrobial activity

Ability to tailor the adhesive thickness, adhesion level and fluid management

Connect with us and uncover how BeneHold CHG can advance your product portfolio

  • We exclusively license the technology for specific applications and territories

  • Opportunity to bring innovation where infection prevention is of strategic focus

  • Currently expanding into Surgical and Advanced Wound Care markets

  • Open to reviewing opportunities in other areas adjacent with the right partnership opportunity


1. Accessed 9.10.20.

2. Accessed 9.10.20.

3. Denton, Graham. “Chlorhexidine.” In Block, S., editor. Disinfection, Sterilization and Preservation, 5th edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2001, 321-336.  [Ref from current ADM website]

4. Darouiche RO, Wall, MJ, Itani, KMF, et al. Chlorhexidine-alcohol versus povidone-iodine for surgical-site antisepsis. N Engl J Med. 2010; 362: 18-26.

5. Mana, TSC, Donskey C, Carty, N, Perry, L, Leaper, D, Edmiston, CE. Preliminary analysis of the antimicrobial activity of a postoperative wound dressing containing chlorhexidine gluconate against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in an in vivo porcine incisional wound model. Am J Infect Control. 2019; 47: 1048-1052.

6.  WHO HAI Fact Sheet

7.  WHO 2016 Guidelines - Global Guidelines for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection (WHO - World Health Organization) pg. 13

*Note: Reduction in the colonization or microbial growth on the device has not been shown to correlate with a reduction in infections in patients. Clinical studies to evaluate reduction in infection have not been performed.