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Efficacy of relatively low-cost ultraviolet-C light devices against Candida auris

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 May 2021

Basya S. Pearlmutter
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Cleveland Ohio
Muhammed F. Haq
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Cleveland Ohio
Jennifer L. Cadnum
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Cleveland Ohio
Annette L. Jencson
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Cleveland Ohio
Matthew Carlisle
Research Service, Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical Center, Cleveland Ohio
Curtis J. Donskey*
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio
Author for correspondence: Curtis J. Donskey, E-mail:



Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light devices could be useful to reduce environmental contamination with Candida auris. However, variable susceptibility of C. auris strains to UV-C has been reported, and the high cost of many devices limits their use in resource-limited settings.


To evaluate the efficacy of relatively low-cost (<$15,000 purchase price) UV-C devices against C. auris strains from the 4 major phylogenetic clades.


A modification of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard quantitative disk carrier test method (ASTM E 2197) was used to examine and compare the effectiveness of UV-C devices against C. auris, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and bacteriophage Phi6. Reductions of 3 log10 were considered effective. UV-C irradiance measurements and colorimetric indicators were used to assess UV-C output.


Of 8 relatively low-cost UV-C devices, 6 met the criteria for effective decontamination of C. auris isolates from clades I and II, MRSA, and bacteriophage Phi6, including 3 room decontamination devices and 3 UV-C box devices. Candida auris isolates from clades III and IV were less susceptible to UV-C than clade I and II isolates; 1 relatively low-cost room decontamination device and 2 enclosed box devices met the criteria for effective decontamination of clade III and IV isolates. UV-C irradiance measurements and colorimetric indicator results were consistent with microorganism reductions.


Some relatively low-cost UV-C light technologies are effective against C. auris, including isolates from clades III and IV with reduced UV-C susceptibility. Studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of UV-C devices in clinical settings.

Original Article
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America

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