As a company focused on the health and safety of people and animals, we’ve watched with growing concern as viral outbreaks like canine parvovirus continue to surge through the animal health community. Over 300,000 cases are diagnosed annually in the US alone. For high-traffic facilities like daycares and boarding centers, business as usual is no longer enough. We need to completely rethink our approach to biosecurity measures.
Evolving Our Defenses: The Clean, Disinfect, Protect Trifecta
For years, the status quo for many animal care facilities has been cursory cleaning paired with disinfecting. However, this formula is incomplete and leaves gaps in protection. Cleaning alone focuses just on surface dirt and debris, while one-time disinfecting only works against pathogens during a single application. There are no lasting defenses.
Industry leaders like ISSA’s Global Biorisk Advisory Council and Merck Animal Health have outlined a more rigorous approach known as “clean, disinfect, and protect.” This three-step protocol provides a layered defense system and has become the new gold standard for biosecurity.
Step 1: Clean - First, proper deep cleaning removes grime that can harbor microbes.
Step 2: Disinfect - Next, using an effective disinfectant like HOCl inactivates pathogens after cleaning.
Step 3: Protect - Finally, applying a long-lasting antimicrobial barrier adds ongoing protection that continues destroying microbes between cleanings and disinfection.
Each step works in conjunction to minimize health risks. Cleaning provides a hygienic slate, disinfecting knocks down populations of viruses, and antimicrobial barriers keep reinforcing the effort with constant contact killing of pathogens over time.
More Than Surface Deep: Components of a Comprehensive Biosecurity Protocol
The clean, disinfect, protect process is a critical piece of a larger biosecurity framework, but not the only one. Facilities also need elements like restricted access, equipment disinfection, air quality measures, waste management, proper protective gear handling, and vaccinations.
Vaccines help prime immune defenses against pathogens. They work hand-in-hand with environmental measures. A rigorous clean, disinfect, protect protocol creates a foundation to minimize contagion spread. But vaccines provide an additional layer by priming the immune system itself. They boost the body's ability to recognize and combat harmful microbes.
A complete biosecurity program incorporates screening, distancing, gear handling, ventilation, controlled access, protective coatings and disinfectants, and vaccinations. The clean, disinfect, protect process works with vaccines to form a multi-level defense system. Combining proactive environmental and immune strategies is key for safeguarding animal and human health.
Adapting to Evolving Threats: Upgrading Protocols to Match Emerging Risks
The clean, disinfect, and protect protocol offers layered protection that no single step alone can match. Cleaning alone leaves gaps, one-time disinfecting is limited in scope, but combining these with ongoing antimicrobial coatings provides full spectrum biosecurity.
You can think of it as a “good, better, best” scenario. Cleaning is good, adding disinfection is better, but the triple combination of cleaning, disinfecting and protection is the best process we have against pathogens. It provides near continuous destruction of microbes through both immediate disinfection and constant residual antimicrobial action over time.
As novel health threats continue to emerge, our defenses must evolve as well. The protocols that worked yesterday may leave us vulnerable tomorrow if we become complacent. Boosting biosecurity requires implementing the most advanced solutions available, while continuously developing even better ones.
The clean, disinfect, protect mantra offers robust protection today, utilizing disinfectants, antimicrobial coatings and proper hygienic practices. But we must also keep innovating, both to deal with rising risks and to be ready for the unknown threats of the future. Complacency opens the door to contagions. By embracing multimodal protocols like clean, disinfect and protect, we’re investing in healthier tomorrows.
Protection: The Most Critical and Undervalued Step
Of all the steps, protection is the most critical and overlooked. High traffic environments compound risk exponentially. One-time disinfecting is not enough. We must deploy durable antimicrobial coatings that continue destroying pathogens for months. Innovations like Armatrex bind to surfaces on a molecular level, disrupting cell walls for up to 90 days. This ongoing destruction keeps viruses at bay.
Pairing disinfectants and protectants is the key for animal facilities to safeguard health. As industry leaders, we set the tone for best practices. It’s time to leave antiquated thinking behind. The animal health world needs to fully embrace clean, disinfect, protect across the board. Our furry clients and business reputations depend on it. I urge all animal care providers to join me in championing this new biosecurity paradigm.
About the Author: Adrian Fulle is the Global Chief Marketing Officer for ByoPlanet and a dedicated advocate for the well-being of animals, plants, and humans alike. Adrian has a passion for health and sustainability and champions initiatives that promote the harmonious coexistence between these interconnected ecosystems. He is a frequent speaker and panelist on the topics of storytelling, marketing science and technology.