Background: Healthcare-acquired infections with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a significant cause of increased mortality, morbidity and additional health care costs in United States. Surface decontamination technologies that utilize pulsed xenon ultraviolet light (PPX-UV) may be effective at reducing microbial burden. The purpose of this study was to compare standard manual room-cleaning to PPX-UV disinfection technology for MRSA and bacterial heterotrophic plate counts (HPC) on high-touch surfaces in patient rooms.
Methods: Rooms vacated by patients that had a MRSA-positive polymerase chain reaction or culture during the current hospitalization and at least a 2-day stay were studied. 20 rooms were then treated according to one of two protocols: standard manual cleaning or PPX-UV. This study evaluated the reduction of MRSA and HPC taken from five high-touch surfaces in rooms vacated by MRSA-positive patients, as a function of cleaning by standard manual methods vs a PPX-UV area disinfection device.
Results: Colony counts in 20 rooms (10 per arm) prior to cleaning varied by cleaning protocol: for HPC, manual (mean = 255, median = 278, q1-q3 132-304) vs PPX-UV (mean = 449, median = 365, q1-q3 332-530), and for MRSA, manual (mean = 127; median = 28.5; q1-q3 8-143) vs PPX-UV (mean = 108; median = 123; q1-q3 14-183). PPX-UV was superior to manual cleaning for MRSA (adjusted incident rate ratio [IRR] = 7; 95% CI <1-41) and for HPC (IRR = 13; 95% CI 4-48).
Conclusion: PPX-UV technology appears to be superior to manual cleaning alone for MRSA and HPC. Incorporating 15 minutes of PPX-UV exposure time to current hospital room cleaning practice can improve the overall cleanliness of patient rooms with respect to selected micro-organisms.