Research Articles

Pulsed Xenon Superior to Manual Cleaning Alone

Evaluation of an ultraviolet room disinfection protocol to decrease nursing home microbial burden, infection and hospitalization rates

Published: BMC Infectious Diseases, March 2017
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5335784/

Background

Nursing home residents are at increased risk for acquiring infections. However, reduction of disease transmission in nursing homes has largely focused on interactions between workers and residents. This study sought to explore how the introduction of UV disinfection could reduce environmental contamination, as well as to the reduction of infection rates and infection-related hospitalizations.

Results

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee researchers found that including pulsed-Xenon ultraviolet disinfection device significantly reduced microbes on environmental surfaces. The rates for hospital-acquired infections significantly decreased overall, for respiratory system infections, and skin/soft tissue infection rates. Furthermore, associated hospitalizations were also significantly decreased.

Enhanced Benefits of UV for Infection Control

Microbial Load on Environmental Surfaces: The Relationship Between Reduced Environmental Contamination and Reduction of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Published: Open Forum Infectious Diseases, October 2016
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313338846_Microbial_Load_on_Environmental_Surfaces_The_Relationship_Between_Reduced_Environmental_Contamination_and_Reduction_of_Healthcare-Associated_Infections

Background

Disinfection of environmental surfaces has become an increasingly important component of infection control due to the risk of transmission of illnesses from contaminated fomites of epidemiologically important pathogens, such as MRSA, VRE, C. diff, and Acindetobacter.

Results

Researchers at Duke University and the UNC Schools of Medicine found an additional 94% reduction in epidemiologically important pathogens when UV was added to the standard use of quaternary compound disinfectants. This resulted in a 35% decrease in colonization/infection.

Pulsed Xenon UV Reduces Contamination Left Behind by Manual Cleaning

EVALUATION OF A PULSED XENON ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT DEVICE FOR ISOLATION ROOM DISINFECTION IN A UNITED KINGDOM HOSPITAL

Published: American Journal of Infection Control, September 2016
Source: https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(16)00150-4/pdf

Background

In spite of gains made in the United Kingdom to reduce the burden of some infections, infection prevention continues to be a challenge and decontamination of patient care areas has become a more vital part of infection control programs, particularly for C. diff and norovirus. This study evaluated the effectiveness of a pulsed Xenon UV disinfection device at Queens Hospital in reducing the contamination of high touch surfaces.

Results

The study found that standard terminal cleaning (manual cleaning with chemical disinfection) did not adequately remove microbial contamination. The pulsed Xenon UV system significantly reduced microorganisms from high touch surfaces further reducing the number of rooms still contaminated after terminal cleaning by at least half for all 5 surfaces tested.

Threat of MRSA to Otherwise Healthy Athletes

Longitudinal Assessment of Colonization With Staphylococcus aureus in Healthy Collegiate Athletes

Published: Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, June 2016
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407133/

Background

Staphylococcus aureus is a leading cause of skin infections and colonization with S. aureus increases the risk of infection. Athletes are at a higher risk for infections causes by S. aureus. This study examines the colonization rates of athletes at Vanderbilt University.

Results

Contact-sport athletes have a S. aureus colonization rate range of 32%-62%, as compared to the lower occurrence range in non-contact sport athletes (18%-53%). For MRSA, the total colonization rate ranges for contact-sport athletes ranged from 8-29%, with football players reaching high of 31% colonization.

Ultraviolet Disinfection Effective Against Harmful Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi

The Microbiological Impact of Pulsed Xenon Ultraviolet Disinfection on Resistant Bacteria, Bacterial Spore and Fungi and Viruses

Published: South African Journal of Infectious Disease, May 2016
Source: http://go.xenex.com/rs/356-QPD-246/images/Stibich-Stachowiak-2016-South-African-Journal-Infectious-disease.pdf

Background

Studies have shown that at least a portion of hospital-acquired infections, a leading cause of mortality and morbidity, are attributable to the environment. Studies have also shown that traditional cleaning may be insufficient to effectively clean a patient room. This study evaluated the effectiveness of killing multiple organisms, including Ebola, Bacillus anthracis, and a variety of bacteria and fungi known to cause harm.

Results

The study found significant reduction in pathogen counts after use of pulsed Xenon UV light at a distance of 1 meter, including Ebola, Bacillus anthracis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, E. coli, Aspergillus niger, and several viruses.

Athletes At Risk for Respiratory and Gastrointestinal Illnesses

Training-related and competition-related risk factors for respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections in elite cross-country skiers.

Published: British Journal of Sports Medicine, March 2016
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296700939_Training-related_and_competition-related_risk_factors_for_respiratory_tract_and_gastrointestinal_infections_in_elite_cross-country_skiers

Background

While a typical adult may experience 2-4 respiratory tract infections per year, evidence suggests that the high training loads of athletes may increase their risk for infections. Researchers studied cross-country skiers to examine the frequency and duration of symptoms, as well as factors that contribute to increased risk.

Results

Athletes were found to be at a higher risk for acquiring acute respiratory tract and gastrointestinal symptoms. After air travel, they were up to 5 times more likely to acquire symptoms. Major fluctuations in the level of training could also contribute to increased risk of symptoms.

Significant Decreases in C. diff Infection Rates with Pulsed Xenon UV

Impact of pulsed xenon ultraviolet light on hospital-acquired infection rates in a community hospital

Published: American Journal of Infection Control, March 2016
Source: https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(15)01064-0/pdf

Background

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have estimated that as many as 722,000 hospital-acquired infections were occurring each year. In exploring solutions, the CDC broadened its efforts to better understand the role that contaminated surfaces play in disease transmission given that substantial evidence exists that multiple drug-resistant organisms regularly contaminate air and surfaces within patient rooms. This study explored the impact of adding a pulsed Xenon UV disinfection system as adjunct to traditional cleaning methods in South Seminole Hospital, a 126 surgical bed hospital. The pulsed Xenon UV system was used in all ICU rooms when patient was discharged or transferred and in non-ICU rooms where the patient had C. difficile.

Results

The study found a 29% reduction of VRE+MRSA+C. diff infection rates facility wide, particularly with a 41% decrease in C. diff infections. Implementation of the pulsed Xenon UV disinfection system also resulted in a 56% reduction in MRSA infections and 87% reduction in VRE in ICU patients.

UV Light Effective Against Bacteria That Causes Foodborne Illnesses

Inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes in biofilms by pulsed ultraviolet light

Published: BMC Research Notes, June 2015
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4467610/

Background

The presence of bacteria, including E. coli and Listeria, on ready-to-eat fresh fruits and vegetables pose a threat to consumers. Other methods of decontamination, such as heat or chemicals, cause challenges for food production facilities as they may adversely affect the quality of products or health of customers.

Results

Researchers found that pulsed UV is an “effective nonthermal intervention method for surface decontamination of E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes on fresh produce and packaging materials.”

Ability for Germs to Spread Between Spaces

Use of Hygiene Protocols to Control the Spread of Viruses in a Hotel

Published: Food and Environmental Virology, February 2015
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263778398_Use_of_Hygiene_Protocols_to_Control_the_Spread_of_Viruses_in_a_Hotel

Background

Understanding the routes through which germs can be transmitted enables better methods for controlling and reducing the number of microorganisms in an environment. Enteric and respiratory viruses are among the most common causes of illnesses in indoor environments, such as hotels. This study explored the transmission of a simulated respiratory virus to track the spread throughout hotel rooms and conference area.

Results

Researchers found that viruses spread between hotel rooms, communal areas, and conference center by both housekeeping staff and guests. The viruses spread rapidly and were transmitted back and forth between spaces. Implementing additional hygiene practices by housekeeping staff reduced the contamination in guest rooms by 87%.

Overview of Environmental Role in HAIs and New Technologies

Controlling Hospital-Acquired Infection: Focus on the Role of the Environment and New Technologies for Decontamination

Published: Clinical Microbiology Reviews, October 2014
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4187643/

Background

Combining increased concern over antimicrobial resistance and more evidence that the environment may facilitate transmission of health care-associated pathogens, including VRE, Clostridium difficile (C. diff), Acinetobacter spp., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and norovirus, environmental disinfection has become more critical in efforts to reduce healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The study summarizes existing research on the relationship between disinfection and transmission of various pathogens, challenges with routine cleaning practices, and various automated decontamination devices, including UV.

Results

UV light systems have proven to reduce microbial contamination and offer a faster decontamination cycle than hydrogen peroxide systems, reducing the time a room is unavailable for patient admissions. Recent studies have also shown reduction in patients acquiring multidrug-resistant organisms.

Enhanced Disinfection Such as UV Can Significantly Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections

The role of the healthcare environment in the spread of multidrug-resistant organisms: update on current best practices for containment

Published: Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Disease, June 2014
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4250270/

Background

There is clearly a relationship between contamination of the environment with the increased risk of infections in healthcare settings. With increasing concern over antibiotic-resistant organisms and the persistence of transmission within healthcare facilities, it is critical to understand the role the environment plays in disease transmission, along with current best practices and emerging solutions to combat these microbes.

Results

Patient risk for contracting a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) increases by a factor of 3.5 if the room has previously been occupied by a patient infected with Acinetobacter buamannii, 2.5 for C. diff, 2.25 for VRE and 1.5 for MRSA. This increased risk is attributed to the environment since there is no direct contact between patients. Among the emerging technologies are enhanced disinfection devices, including automated UV disinfection systems, which have been shown to reduce the HAI rates.

Reduction in MDRO and C. diff Rates

Implementation and impact of ultraviolet environmental disinfection in an acute care setting

Published: American Journal of Infection Control, June 2014
Source: https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(13)01432-6/abstract

Background

Multiple drug-resistant organisms (MDRO) and C. diff (CD) can cause significant problems in health care. This retrospective study evaluated the effectiveness of utilizing UV light to help reduce the MDROs and CD at the Westchester Medical Center, a 643-bed academic medical center. The use of UV disinfection was added to cleaning protocols after standard cleaning was completed at discharge in rooms where contact precautions were in place or other high-risk areas.

Results

The study reported a 20% decrease in hospital-acquired infection rates for MDRO and CD during the 22-month UV disinfection period, as compared to the 30-month pre-implementation period.

UV's Effectiveness Against Wide Variety of Microbes May Help Against Biowarfare Agents

Can biowarfare agents be defeated with light?

Published: Virulence, September 2013
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925713/

Background

With the threat that bioterrorism plays in the 21st century, highly infectious and virulent diseases may be caused by dissemination of certain viruses, bacteria, spores, fungi, or toxins.

Results

This article provides background information on various antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of light, including UV light, with emphasis on UV-C wavelengths, as well as blue light. Authors indicate that “UV light as a viable decontamination technique for potential biological warfare agents.”

Infection ControlJessica Jones
Pulsed UV Significantly Reduces Infection Rates Across Healthcare System

Impact of a multi-hospital intervention utilising screening, hand hygiene education and pulsed xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) on the rate of hospital associated meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection

Published: Journal of Infection Prevention, September 2013
Source: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258126701_Impact_of_a_multi-hospital_intervention_utilising_screening_hand_hygiene_education_and_pulsed_xenon_ultraviolet_PX-UV_on_the_rate_of_hospital_associated_meticillin_resistant_Staphylococcus_aureus_infe

Background

Infection control, including prevention of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), typically requires a multi-pronged approach, including improved hand hygiene and improved environmental disinfection. This study researched the effect of incorporating pulsed UV for terminal cleaning of rooms, along with hand hygiene education in an acute care hospital system.

Results

After incorporating pulsed UV for terminal cleaning in MRSA patient rooms and adding a hand hygiene education program, the rates of hospital associated MRSA decreased by 57% for a large facility, and by 56% for the entire healthcare system.

Contaminated Surfaces Contribute to Disease Transmission

Evidence That Contaminated Surfaces Contribute to the Transmission of Hospital Pathogens and an Overview of Strategies to Address Contaminated Surfaces in Hospital Settings

Published: American Journal of Infection Control, May 2013
Source: https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(13)00004-7/pdf

Background

Once thought to play a negligible role, evidence now indicates that contaminated surfaces play an important role in the “endemic and epidemic transmission of certain pathogens that cause health care-associated infections.” Through modeling transmission, microbiologic studies, observational epidemiologic studies, intervention studies, and outbreak reports, there is now ample evidence that contaminated surfaces contribute to transmission.

Results

Environmental sampling of surfaces has found that certain pathogens can survive for months on dry hospital surfaces, with VRE being reported as lasting up to 4 years. Traditional cleaning methods, including bleach may not be sufficient to eliminate some pathogens, such as a study that found 27% of rooms contaminated with A. baumannii or MRSA following 4 rounds of bleach disinfectant. Improvements in cleaning and disinfection, including the use of ultraviolet C or pulsed Xenon ultraviolet radiation have “shown promise and improved efficacy” compared to conventional methods.

History & Applications of Ultraviolet Light - Need for Installed Solutions

The History of Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation for Air Disinfection

Published: Public Health Reports, 2010
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789813/

Background

Given concerns over infections that are transmitted completely or partially airborne, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, research into the effectiveness of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) for disinfecting the air has resurfaces. This article covers the history of UVGI from biological foundation to real-world applications.

Results

UVGI has been proven effective at preventing infections and has even been recommended by the CDC as a supplement for Tuberculosis (TB) infection control in healthcare settings. Installed solutions for the deployment of UVGI are needed to make the solutions safe and effective.

The Role of Surfaces in the Spread of Disease

SIGNIFICANCE OF FOMITES IN THE SPREAD OF RESPIRATORY AND ENTERIC VIRAL DISEASE

Published: Applied and Environmental Microbiology, March 2007
Source: http://aem.asm.org/content/73/6/1687.full.pdf+html

Background

Viruses cause the majority (60%) of human infections along with common illnesses caused by respiratory and enteric viruses. Unfortunately, unlike diseases caused by bacteria, viral illnesses cannot be treated with antibiotics, making prevention even more critical.

This article summarizes existing research to assess the significance fomites (porous and nonporous surfaces or objects that can become contaminated) in the spread of common viruses.

Results

Once a surface becomes contaminated, the transfer of infectious disease between objects can easily occur. Numerous studies have shown that contaminated fomites (surfaces) are linked with the transmission of viruses, therefore disinfection of surfaces can be used to help interrupt disease spread.

Pathogens Persist for Extended Periods of Time

How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review

Published: BMC Infectious Diseases, August 2006
Source: https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2334-6-130

Background

Disinfection guidelines have evolved over time as the role of the environment in the transmission of disease has become more well understood. This literature review seeks to outline how long nosocomial pathogens can persist and remain a viable source for transmission of illnesses or infections.

Results

Numerous nosocomial pathogens can persist on surfaces for hours, weeks, months, and even some indications of years. The survival time for MRSA has been documented to range from 7 days to 12 months, and up to 46 months for VRE. These pathogens continue to serve as a source of transmission with no preventive surface disinfection.