Hygiëneforum 2019

15 Oktober 2019 - ReeHorst, Ede, NL

Programme Hygiene Forum 2019


Welcome participants


Opening by dr. Hans Razenberg and introduction moderator prof. dr. Dirk Bockmühl


Speaker from NL Ministry of Health


Prof. dr. Sally Bloomfield: Containing the burden of infectious diseases is everyone’s responsibility - A call for an integrated strategy (EN)

Microbiome science now shows that interaction with our microbial world is essential to health.  The question is “how do we continue to protect ourselves against harmful microbes whilst at the same time sustaining exposure to essential microbes?” In 2018 group of experts in hygiene prepared a consensus paper on what needs to be done to address these apparently conflicting issues. The paper recognises that, in tackling these issues, a number of barriers need to be overcome:

  • the public are confused about hygiene - what it is and how it differs from cleanliness
  • the “hygiene” hypothesis misnomer has led to the misconception that we have become “too clean”.
  • The need to balance benefits of hygiene against factors such as environmental issues.
  • Concerns about antimicrobial resistance must be properly weighed against need for targeted use of disinfectants where necessary

To address these issues, IFH has developed targeted hygiene, a framework for maximising protection against infection whilst allowing maximum exposure to our microbial world. It also encourages focused use of resources (heat, water, mechanical action, detergents, disinfectants) in a manner which minimises environmental and other impacts. The paper makes calls to action to stakeholders in hygiene for a more integrated approach to hygiene and clearer messaging in order to restore public and understanding of hygiene and cleanliness.


Dr. Bernhard Meyer: Disinfection and Hygiene to Overcome Microbial resistance: a risk benefit evaluation (EN)

It is without any doubt that disinfection of surfaces, hands and medical instruments plays a crucial role in the prevention of healthcare acquired infections. Wherever antibiotics are used, be it prophylactically or as a therapy, mankind faces the development of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial drugs becoming inefficient. Therefore, the options of therapy of infections become less and, hence, the relevance of infection prevention increases. Disinfection plays a vital role in infecxtion prevention, but the question has been raised, if disinfectants can be a universal weapon against microbes spread via healthcare environments or if their use may even promote antimicrobial resistance. Based on a comparison of the risk of the latter happening and the risk of increased infection rates by limiting disinfectant use a proposal for the use of disinfectants in healthcare will be made.


Coffee break


Dr. John Hines: Designing for Human Factors in Hygiene (EN)

For “effective hygiene” to take place not only does the right product need to be available but it must be used at the right time and in the right way. While in some circumstances this can be accomplished through automated systems, in many cases human behaviour is an essential element.

With concerns raised on the role of the human microbiome in health and with the need to minimise chemical consumption, it is more important than ever that the human factors determining effective hygiene are addressed however despite this, this remains a largely under-developed focus in research and product development with manufacturers and regulators concentrating much more on the chemistry of hygiene.

To support a targeted hygiene approach, it is important to shift away from framing hygiene solutions in purely chemistry or biocidal terms (e.g. “log reduction”) and instead to consider and to integrate into product design the human behavioural factors underpinning both the targeted approach and, ultimately, effective hygiene.

Considering human factors opens up new frontiers for innovation and can lead to better, more effective and more chemistry efficient hygiene solutions through a wide range of approaches; some as simple as a pump that dispensing the right amount of product or a toilet seat that closes before flushing, others deploying new IoT technologies to drive behavioural change through sophisticated real-time feedback and prompts.

In this presentation we will consider how hygiene manufacturers and users can best engage with this new approach and how regulators should adapt to encourage and support targeted hygiene innovations.


Prof. dr. Markus Egert: Household, Hygiene and the Human Microbiome (EN)

Humans are colonised by about 10 trillions of microorganisms, affiliated with thousands of different species, and collectively referred to as the human microbiome. Although the details are far from being fully understood, it is undisputed that the human microbiome plays a significant role for human health and well-being. Structure (species composition) and function (metabolism) of the human microbiome are influenced by many intrinsic (host-specific) and extrinsic (environmental) factors, the latter including cleaning and hygiene measures and the composition of the household (built environment) microbiome. While many cleaning and household practices are indispensable to prevent infections, they are also suspected to negatively affect the human microbiome and promote diseases such as allergies and asthma. Clearly, balancing infection prevention and microbiome protection at home is a challenging task. More (large scale) investigations are needed addressing the (long-term) effects of cleaning and hygiene measure on the built environment microbiome on the one side and the human microbiome and human health on the other side. In view of the author, future studies should particularly address pre- and probiotic hygiene strategies to modulate the built environment microbiome in a way that is beneficial for humans.


Lunch break


First round of workshops (parallel sessions)

Click here for an overview of the workshops.


Coffee break


Second round of workshops (parallel sessions)

Click here for an overview of the workshops.


Plenary closure on exhibition