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We evaluated the ability of an ultraviolet-C (UV-C) room decontamination device to kill Candida auris and C. albicans. With an organic challenge (fetal calf serum), the UV-C device demonstrated the following log10 reductions for C. auris of 4.57 and for C. albicans of 5.26 with direct line of sight, and log10 reductions for C. auris of 2.41 and for C. ablicans of 3.96 with indirect line of sight.
We evaluated the robustness of sterilization technologies when spores and bacteria were placed on “dirty” instruments and overlaid with blood. The results illustrate that steam sterilization is the most effective sterilization technology with the largest margin of safety, followed by ethylene oxide and hydrogen peroxide gas plasma.
To compare the microbicidal activity of low-temperature sterilization technologies (vaporized hydrogen peroxide [VHP], ethylene oxide [ETO], and hydrogen peroxide gas plasma [HPGP]) to steam sterilization in the presence of salt and serum to simulate inadequate precleaning.
Test carriers were inoculated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, Mycobacterium terrae, Bacillus atrophaeus spores, Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores, or Clostridiodes difficile spores in the presence of salt and serum and then subjected to 4 sterilization technologies: steam, ETO, VHP and HPGP.
Steam, ETO, and HPGP sterilization techniques were capable of inactivating the test organisms on stainless steel carriers with a failure rate of 0% (0 of 220), 1.9% (6 of 310), and 1.9% (5 of 270), respectively. The failure rate for VHP was 76.3% (206 of 270).
Steam sterilization is the most effective and had the largest margin of safety, followed by ETO and HPGP, but VHP showed much less efficacy.
A novel disinfectant studied using an EPA protocol demonstrated sustained antimicrobial activity (ie, 3–5 log10 reduction) in 5 minutes after 24 hours for Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, Candida auris, carbapenem-resistant Escherichia coli and antibiotic-susceptible E. coli, and Enterobacter spp. Only ∼2 log10 reduction occurred with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacter spp and K. pneumoniae, and antibiotic-susceptible K. pneumoniae.
Candida auris is an emerging fungal pathogen that is often resistant to major classes of antifungal drugs. It is considered a serious global health threat because it can cause severe infections with frequent mortality in more than a dozen countries. It can survive on healthcare environmental surfaces for at least 7 days and can cause outbreaks in healthcare facilities. Clearly, infection prevention strategies, such as surface disinfection, will be essential to controlling Candida transmission. Unfortunately, data on the activity of antiseptics and disinfectants used in healthcare to inactivate this pathogen are limited.1–5 In this study, we investigated 12 different disinfectants (ie, 8 low- and intermediate-level disinfectants in 2 dilutions of sodium hypochlorite and 5 high-level disinfectants/chemical sterilants) and 9 antiseptics commonly used in healthcare facilities for their antimicrobial activity against C. auris and C. albicans.
Hospital environmental surfaces are frequently contaminated by microorganisms. However, the causal mechanism of bacterial contamination of the environment as a source of transmission is still debated. This prospective study was performed to characterize the nature of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) transmission between the environment and patients using standard microbiological and molecular techniques.
Prospective cohort study at 2 academic medical centers.
A prospective multicenter study to characterize the nature of bacterial transfer events between patients and environmental surfaces in rooms that previously housed patients with 1 of 4 ‘marker’ MDROs: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, Clostridium difficile, and MDR Acinetobacter baumannii. Environmental and patient microbiological samples were obtained on admission into a freshly disinfected inpatient room. Repeat samples from room surfaces and patients were taken on days 3 and 7 and each week the patient stayed in the same room. The bacterial identity, antibiotic susceptibility, and molecular sequences were compared between organisms found in the environment samples and patient sources.
We enrolled 80 patient–room admissions; 9 of these patients (11.3%) were asymptomatically colonized with MDROs at study entry. Hospital room surfaces were contaminated with MDROs despite terminal disinfection in 44 cases (55%). Microbiological Bacterial Transfer events either to the patient, the environment, or both occurred in 12 patient encounters (18.5%) from the microbiologically evaluable cohort.
Microbiological Bacterial Transfer events between patients and the environment were observed in 18.5% of patient encounters and occurred early in the admission. This study suggests that research on prevention methods beyond the standard practice of room disinfection at the end of a patient’s stay is needed to better prevent acquisition of MDROs through the environment.
We evaluated the ability of high-intensity visible violet light with a peak output of 405 nm to kill epidemiologically important pathogens. The high irradiant light significantly reduced both vegetative bacteria and spores at some time points over a 72-hour exposure period.
In this prospective study, we monitored 4 epidemiologically important pathogens (EIPs): methicillin-resistane Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), Clostridium difficile, and multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter to assess the effectiveness of 3 enhanced disinfection strategies for terminal room disinfection against standard practice. Our data demonstrated that a decrease in room contamination with EIPs of 94% was associated with a 35% decrease in subsequent patient colonization and/or infection.
We measured the disinfection of MRSA and Clostridium difficile spores using an ultraviolet C (UV-C) device, and we correlated those results to measurements and computer simulations of UV-C surface intensity. The results demonstrate both large differences in UV light intensity across various surfaces and how this leads to significant differences in disinfection.
Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) only contaminated the environmental surfaces of rooms housing CRE colonized/infected patients infrequently (8.4%) and at low levels (average, 5.1 colony-forming units [CFU]/120 cm2 per contaminated surface). Three species of CRE (Klebsiella, Enterobacter, and Escherichia) survived poorly (>85% die-off in 24 hours) when ~2 log10 CFU were inoculated onto 5 different environmental surfaces.
Adult hospitalized patients with cystic fibrosis commonly receive nebulized medications. For single-patient-use nebulizers that are cleaned after each use, there is infrequent nebulizer contamination (0%–11%) with only low numbers of epidemiologically important pathogens (less than 100 colony-forming units), and this contamination is similar after 24, 48, and 72 hours of use.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(12):1553–1546