Researchers use automated UV disinfection to prevent C. difficile

Trial shows Tru-D SmartUVC prevented coincident recurrent CDI episodes in a long-term care facility

Residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are especially vulnerable to Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), the most common cause of nosocomial diarrhoea. 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.

In a recently published article, ‘Decontamination with Ultraviolet Radiation to Prevent Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection in two Roommates in a Long-Term Care Facility' (Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, May 2012), researchers shared the results of a trial that used Tru-D SmartUVC to prevent coincident recurrent CDI episodes in roommates in an LTCF.

Researchers Brett Sitzlar, Ravy Vajravelu, Lucy Jury, Curtis Donskey and Robin Jump monitored two LTCF patient roommates. During the months that the patients shared a room, they also shared coincident reoccurrences of CDI, which suggested 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% 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 reduce 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.