Background: Respiratory infections caused by viruses are major causes of upper and lower respiratory tract infections. They account for an important mortality and morbidity worldwide. Amongst these viruses, influenza viruses and paramyxoviruses are major pathogens. Their transmission is mainly airborne, by direct transmission through droplets from infected cases.
Objectives: In the context of an influenza pandemic, as well as for the reduction of nosocomial infections, systems that can reduce or control virus transmission will reduce the burden of this disease. It may also be part of the strategy for pandemic mitigation.
Study design: A new system based on physical decontamination of surface and air has been developed. This process generates cold oxygen plasma (COP) by subjecting air to high-energy deep-UV light. To test its efficiency, we have developed an experimental device to assess for the decontamination of nebulized respiratory viruses. High titer suspensions of influenza virus type A, human parainfluenza virus type 3 and RSV have been tested.
Results: Different experimental conditions have been evaluated against these viruses. The use of COP with an internal device allowed the best results against all viruses tested. We recorded a reduction of 6.5, 3.8 and 4 log(10) TCID50/mL of the titre of the hPIV-3, RSV and influenza virus A (H5N2) suspensions.
Conclusions: The COP technology is an efficient and innovative strategy to control airborne virus dissemination. It could successfully control nosocomial diffusion of respiratory viruses in hospital setting, and could be useful for the reduction of influenza transmission in the various consultation settings implemented for the management of cases during a pandemic.