Cold and Flu
Sanitization and Germs
Infectious Diseases
Biology

How does iodine kill germs?

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Wiki User
03/30/2007

The microbiocidal action of Iodine is due to the active form, I2, which is polarized by water and like all halogens (chlorine, fluorine, bromine, etc.), acts as an extremely potent oxidizer. Activated iodine (I2) reacts in electrophilic reactions with enzymes of the respiratory chain as well as with amino acids located in cell membrane and cell wall proteins. The well-balanced tertiary structure necessary for maintaining the respiratory chain as well as cell integrity is destroyed and the microorganism is irreversibly damaged.