Antimicrobial resistance is a growing issue across the globe, and one company is addressing its burden on healthcare through the innovative use of copper.

The World Health Organization has declared antimicrobial resistance as one of the biggest threats to human health, with drug-resistant diseases potentially killing up to 10 million each year by 2050. This is resulting in mounting cost pressures on healthcare systems, the private sector, and governments. Copper, one of the most recyclable materials available, is a potentially potent natural remedy which could reduce hospital-acquired infections without the use of antibiotics and its associated risks of antibiotic resistance.

Copper Clothing, which specialises in designing copper-infused antimicrobial products, has carried out three clinical trials in conjunction with the NHS to test the efficacy of copper-infused products as a solution to antimicrobial resistance.

Speaking to Health Europa’s Digital Editor Stephanie Price, Copper Clothing CEO, Rory Donnelly, discusses its clinical trials with the NHS, the impact of COVID-19 on antimicrobial resistance, and the unravelling of “nature’s biggest gift”.

Exploring the efficacy of copper

Copper has been used in medicine for thousands of years. In the Hippocratic Collection, copper is recommended for the treatment of leg ulcers associated with varicose veins, and according to the European Copper Alliance, Hippocrates treated open wounds and skin irritations with copper. The Copper Clothing NHS clinical trials explored the efficacy of the use of copper in C-sections, in stockings, and copper clothing compared to a common silver plaster, with further lab trials exploring its efficacy against MRSA, Staph infections and K. pneumoniae, as well as comparing its use to antimicrobial products that use silver and honey.

Donnelly said: “Copper Clothing has been researching and developing highly innovative means of infusing the power of copper into everyday products since 2012. The biggest barrier we still face today is a lack of trust and belief in new, genuine, transformational innovations. This is because they are so rare to find.