Researchers Use Automated UV Disinfection to Prevent C difficile in Veterans Long-Term Care Facility


In a recently published article in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, "Decontamination with Ultraviolet Radiation to Prevent Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection in 2 Roommates in a Long-Term Care Facility," researchers shared the results of a trial that used Tru-D SmartUVC to prevent coincident recurrent CDI episodes in roommates in a long-term care facility (LTCF).

Residents of LTCFs are especially vulnerable to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhea. Clostridium difficile (C. diff.) spores that become airborne during CDI occurrences contaminate nearby environmental surfaces, survive for months, and are especially difficult to eradicate with disinfectants.

Researchers Brett Sitzlar, Ravy K. Vajravelu, Lucy Jury, Curtis J. Donskey and Robin L. P. Jump monitored two LTCF patient roommates. During the months that the patients shared a room, they also shared coincident reoccurrences of CDI. An earlier study (McFarland et. al.) describes an increased risk for C. difficile acquisition within the first 48 hours after becoming a roommate of a patient with a C. difficile-positive culture. The current study suggests ongoing cross-contamination between patients. 

Routine environmental cleaning measures were employed by the LTCF, including the use of a bleach disinfectant after every CDI episode. Published studies suggest that a 10 percent bleach solution might help reduce the incidence of CDI, but manual bleach applications may also be prone to human error. Despite these measures, the coincident timing of the patients' CDI recurrences show a strong relationship to a heavy environmental burden of C. difficile spores, suggesting that the bleach solution application failed to stop CDI reoccurrence. 

In an effort to prevent additional recurrences, researchers employed Tru-D Rapid Room Disinfection, which had been shown in earlier studies to reduce the environmental burden of C. difficile. Five weeks after UV radiation, swab samples obtained from both patients were negative for C. difficile. Neither patient had an additional episode of CDI in subsequent months.

Researchers concluded that Tru-D SmartUVC reduced the number of organisms in places that are easily missed or inaccessible to human cleaning. Routine use of Tru-D room disinfection processes to decrease the environmental burden of pathogens is a feasible addition to current infection control and housekeeping measures and may ultimately reduce rates of CDI among patients in both hospitals and LTCFs.

Tru-D SmartUVC is a portable UV disinfection system that precisely measures reflected UVC emissions with Sensor360 to automatically calculate the pathogen-lethal UV dose required for each room, dynamically compensating for room size, shape and other dose altering variables such as the position of contents, windows, blinds and doors.

Related Videos
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Infection Control Today Topic of the Month: Mental Health
Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces in hospitals  (Adobe Stock 339297096 by Melinda Nagy)
Set of white bottles with cleaning liquids on the white background. (Adobe Stock 6338071172112 by zolnierek)
Association for the Health Care Environment (Logo used with permission)
Woman lying in hospital bed (Adobe Stock, unknown)
Photo of a model operating room. (Photo courtesy of Indigo-Clean and Kenall Manufacturing)
Mona Shah, MPH, CIC, FAPIC, Construction infection preventionist  (Photo courtesy of Mona Shah)
UV-C Robots by OhmniLabs.  (Photo from OhmniLabs website.)
CDC  (Adobe Stock, unknown)
Related Content