The estimated 721,800 hospital acquired infections per year in the United States have necessitated development of novel environmental decontamination technologies such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). This study evaluated the efficacy of a novel, portable UVGI generator (the TORCH, ChlorDiSys Solutions, Inc., Lebanon, NJ) to disinfect surface coupons composed of plastic from a bedrail, stainless steel, chrome-plated light switch cover, and a porcelain tile that were inoculated with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE). Each surface type was placed at 6 different sites within a hospital room and treated by 10-min ultraviolet-C (UVC) exposures using the TORCH with doses ranging from 0-688 mJ/cm(2) between sites. Organism reductions were compared with untreated surface coupons as controls. Overall, UVGI significantly reduced MRSA by an average of 4.6 log10 (GSD: 1.7 log10, 77% inactivation, p < 0.0001) and VRE by an average of 3.9 log10 (GSD: 1.7 log10, 65% inactivation, p < 0.0001). MRSA on bedrail was reduced significantly (p < 0.0001) less than on other surfaces, while VRE was reduced significantly less on chrome (p = 0.0004) and stainless steel (p = 0.0012) than porcelain tile. Organisms out of direct line of sight of the UVC generator were reduced significantly less (p < 0.0001) than those directly in line of sight. UVGI was found an effective method to inactivate nosocomial pathogens on surfaces evaluated within the hospital environment in direct line of sight of UVGI treatment with variation between organism and surface types.
Keywords: Decontamination; UVGI; hospital room; surfaces; ultraviolet disinfection.