Research Articles

Posts in Infection Control
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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.