Particle control reduces fine and ultrafine particles greater than HEPA filtration in live operating rooms and kills biologic warfare surrogate

Am J Infect Control. 2020 Jul;48(7):777-780. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2019.11.017. Epub 2020 Jan 3.


Background: Controlling indoor air quality and the airborne transmission of infectious agents in hospitals is critical. The most hazardous particles and pathogens are not easily eliminated by traditionally passive air cleansing.

Methods: We studied the effect of a novel particle control technology on airborne particulate matter in 2 live real-world operating room settings and on pathogen survival in a microbiology laboratory.

Results: Particle control technology reduced operating room particle and pathogen loads by 94.4% in a community hospital operating room, and by 95% in an academic medical center operating room. The addition of particle control technology to a collector loaded with a biologic warfare surrogate resulted in a 95% kill rate of an anthrax surrogate (Bacillus subtilis) within 3 hours.

Discussion: Deployment of this emerging technology could significantly reduce indoor air contamination and associated infections in operating rooms, hospital isolation rooms, and intensive care settings, as well as reduce inflammatory responses to airborne particles.

Conclusions: The particle control technology studied may protect patients from hospital-acquired infections, reduce inflammatory pulmonary disease, and mitigate exposure to biologic weapons.

Keywords: Air quality; Airborne pathogens; Hospital-acquired infections; Indoor air purification; Operating room air purification.

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology
  • Air Pollution, Indoor* / analysis
  • Biological Warfare*
  • Filtration
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms
  • Particulate Matter


  • Particulate Matter