Research Articles

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


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.


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.