Study Reveals Effectiveness of Ultraviolet Light in Infection Control

Research being presented at IDWeek 2012 suggests that a specific spectrum of ultraviolet light could kill drug-resistant bacteria on the door handles, bedside tables and other surfaces of hospital rooms.


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Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and the University of North Carolina Hospital System used short-wave ultraviolet radiation to test its effectiveness in eliminating Acinetobacter, Clostridium difficile or vancomycin-resistant enterococci in more than 50 patient rooms.

The researchers found the numbers of bacterial colony-forming units fell dramatically. Fifty-two CFUs of Acinetobacter were seen before irradiation, but only 1 CFU afterward, down 98.1 percent. Researchers found similar declines for VRE.

The culturing initially was not sensitive enough to isolate C. diff, but improved techniques allowed the researchers to do further testing and the results in the UV-C treated rooms were just as dramatic.    

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