Will using accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP) help us with our current ringworm outbreak?


I am the new operations manager for our local humane society.  In the short time I have been here, we have had a large outbreak of ringworm and have worked very hard to overcome the issues that have led up to it.

Our facility has 54 cats (separated by kennels) and until recently we were using a quaternary ammonium disinfectant that was basically ineffective against this fungus, and a bleach solution, though I could not tell you how the bleach was being mixed.

After talks with other industry specialists, I found myself to be more alarmed at the zoonotic possibilities than anything else. That's when I raised the flag and asked for help ­ it appeared that the implications / possibilities of this fungus spreading to my other kennels was greater than I realized, not to mention the impact to humans, small children respectively.

We have been using Trifectant in our dog runs, but not in our cattery, and after reading your articles and others found that it was not effective as a 1:10 bleach is. Problem is ­ the ventilation. One of the products I was introduced to to over come this issue is an accelerated and stabilized Hydrogen peroxide (ASHP) product called Accel.

I have read through your FAQ's, information sheets and did not find any one question that addressed this issue about ringworm that I am having. I have an on-site vet during the week along with full time kennel technicians responsible for daily cleaning and maintenance. I have reviewed the protocols ­ shaving long hair cats, lime/sulfur dip and so on after had some concerns about safety for my staff. According to the rep, this Accel is new to the U.S. (comes from Canada) meets all EPA guidelines and so on and kills ringworm outright, ­ meets the Polio 1 test and so on. They also are telling us that their product called PURE OXYGEN, and antifungal wash will replace the need to utilize the lime/sulfur dip.

Can you please let me know if you have any further information about this product, or if it will work as advertised?

Answer Date: 
December 19, 2011

Thank you so much for your inquiry as this is a topic comes up often, so often in fact that we are including an article on accelerated hydrogen peroxide (AHP) in our next newsletter. Here is some information on AHP that is included in the article as well as information specific to your question.

As you mentioned AHP is relatively new to the market in the U.S.  It is labeled as a one-step, short contact time (1-5 minutes depending on the concentration and organism targeted) cleaner and disinfectant that is efficacious in the presence of organic matter.  This product also contains a detergent, which lends to its great cleaning ability.

AHP product label claims broad-spectrum bacterial and virucidal activity, and is effective against non-enveloped viruses such as calicivirus and parvovirus.

AHP has a lot of good qualities and in general: it is non-toxic, non-corrosive, does not produce toxic fumes (unless mixed with bleach), and is considered generally safe with no additional concerns, when used as directed on the product label. Application in a shelter setting can vary to fit the specific needs of the shelter.  It comes in a pre-mixed liquid formulation that can be used in a spray bottle, or a concentrated form can be purchased in large quantities (up to 50 gallon) for dilution and application through a centralized system.  Different dilutions can be used for different purposes, from general daily cleaning at a very low concentration to targeting specific organisms at a high concentration.

Accelerated hydrogen peroxide is labeled effective against dermatophytes.  The company states that if there is an outbreak the entire shelter should be soaked with the Accel hard surface disinfectant at a dilution of 1:16 and ensure the areas remain wet for a minimum of 10 minutes, which could necessitate rewetting after 5 minutes if the surface appears dry. However, the efficacy of this protocol has not yet been verified by independent research. This is a concern, as other products labeled against dermatophytes have subsequently been shown by independent research to not be fully effective.

Independent studies are currently being conducted on Pure Oxygen and look promising.   Anecdotally, we have heard that some shelters have used Pure Oxygen shampoo with success in treating ringworm. However at this time, without concrete data supporting this product, we cannot make the recommendation for you to use Pure Oxygen to treat ringworm.

Lyme sulfur dip, twice weekly, has been proven to work for the treatment of ringworm and thus is what we recommend.  This combined with oral itraconazole is the current treatment protocol of choice.  Please see our  Ringworm Information sheet locate on this site for more detailed information on this treatment protocol.

We hope that this information has been useful.

Cynthia Karsten, DVM
Resident, Koret Shelter Medicine Program
Center for Companion Animal Health
UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine