Methods: Patients with infection due to C. difficile, Acinetobacter, or VRE were identified at two tertiary-care centers using standard infection control surveillance. After discharge but prior to terminal room cleaning by environmental services, 3 environmental cultures were obtained from each of 5 pre-specified locations throughout the room using Rodac plates, including “high touch areas” and bathroom (n=15 Rodacs/room). UV-C light was then administered to the room until a bactericidal dose was achieved (≥ 12,000µWs/cm2 for vegetative bacteria and ≥ 22,000µWs/cm2 for spores). Following UV-C administration, 3 environmental cultures were obtained from the same 5 locations (n=15). Growth of C. difficile, Acinetobacter, and VRE were quantified and colony counts were compared “before” and “after” UV-C light administration.
Results: In total, we analyzed 26 rooms that housed patients with VRE, 17 rooms with C. difficile, and 2 rooms with Acinetobacter. A total of 719 CFUs of VRE were identified before UV-C and 15 were identified after (97.9% reduction). A mean of 1.39 colony forming units (CFUs)/Rodac of VRE was identified before UV-C compared with a mean of 0.023 CFUs/Rodac after UV-C (92.3% reduction). Similarly, 52 CFUs of Acinetobacter were identified before UV-C and only 1 CFU was identified after (98.1% reduction). A mean of 1.73 CFUs/Rodac of Acinetobacter was identified before UV-C while a mean of 0.033 CFUs/Rodac was identified after UV-C (87.1% reduction). Importantly, no C. difficile was isolated from environmental cultures before or after UV-C light administration.
Conclusion: UV-C light is effective in killing VRE and Acinetobacter in the hospital environment. Work to improve the sensitivity of environmental culturing of C. difficile is ongoing.
D. J. Anderson,
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