Clinical and microbiological effect of pulsed xenon ultraviolet disinfection to reduce multidrug-resistant organisms in the intensive care unit in a Japanese hospital: a before-after study

BMC Infect Dis. 2020 Jan 29;20(1):82. doi: 10.1186/s12879-020-4805-6.


Background: No-touch environmental disinfection using ultraviolet devices has been highlighted in the past several years to control the transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs). However, its effectiveness in non-US healthcare settings is yet to be examined. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of disinfection by portable pulsed xenon ultraviolet (PX-UV) devices in controlling transmission of MDROs in a non-US healthcare setting.

Methods: All patients admitted in the intensive care unit in a 629-bed tertiary referral hospital in Japan from August 2016 to February 2019 were enrolled. During the study period, PX-UV disinfection was added to manual terminal cleaning after every patient transfer/discharge. For microbiological evaluation, surfaces were selected for sampling by contact plates before/after manual cleaning and after PX-UV. After overnight incubation, colonies on the plates were counted.

Results: The incidence of newly acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) declined significantly (13.8 to 9.9 per 10,000 patient days, incidence rate ratio 0.71, p = 0.002), as well as that of newly acquired drug-resistant Acinetobacter (48.5 to 18.1, 0.37, p < 0.001). The percent reduction of the microbiological burden by manual cleaning was 81%, but a further 59% reduction was achieved by PX-UV.

Conclusions: PX-UV is effective in further reducing the microbial burden and controlling MDROs in a non-US healthcare setting.

Keywords: Acinetobacter baumannii; Environmental disinfection; Multidrug-resistant organism; Ultraviolet disinfection device.

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter baumannii / radiation effects*
  • Controlled Before-After Studies
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Disinfection / instrumentation
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus / radiation effects*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Xenon


  • Xenon