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Decontamination of Hospital Surfaces With Multijet Cold Plasma: A Method to Enhance Infection Prevention and Control?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 August 2017

Orla J. Cahill
Affiliation:
School of Electronic Engineering and National Centre for Plasma Science Technology, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland Department of Food Science and Environmental Health, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland
Tânia Claro
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Attilio A. Cafolla
Affiliation:
School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland
Niall T. Stevens
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland
Stephen Daniels
Affiliation:
Department of Food Science and Environmental Health, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland
Hilary Humphreys*
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland Department of Microbiology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
*
Address correspondence to Hilary Humphreys, Department of Clinical Microbiology, RCSI Education and Research Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin D09 YD60, Ireland (hhumphreys@rcsi.ie).

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate the efficacy of a multijet cold-plasma system and its efficacy in decontaminating 2 surfaces commonly found in hospitals

DESIGN

An in vitro study of common causes of healthcare-acquired infection

METHODS

Log10 9 cultures of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant enterococci, extended spectrum β-lactamase–producing Escherichia coli, and Acinetobacter baumannii were applied to 5-cm2 sections of stainless steel and mattress. Human serum albumin (HSA) was used as a proxy marker for organic material, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) was used to study the impact on bacterial cell structure. The inoculated surfaces were exposed to a cold-air-plasma–generating multijet prototype for 15, 20, 30, and 45 seconds.

RESULTS

After 45 seconds, at least 3 to 4 log reductions were achieved for all bacteria on the mattress, while 3 to 6 log reductions were observed on stainless steel. The presence of HSA had no appreciable effect on bacterial eradication. The surfaces with bacteria exposed to AFM showed significant morphological changes indicative of “etching” due to the action of highly charged ions produced by the plasma.

CONCLUSION

This multijet cold-plasma prototype has the potential to augment current environmental decontamination approaches but needs further evaluation in a clinical setting to confirm its effectiveness.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2017;38:1182–1187

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
© 2017 by The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. All rights reserved 

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Footnotes

PREVIOUS PRESENTATION. Preliminary data were presented at the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Copenhagen, Denmark, on April 26, 2015.

References

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