Ultraviolet (UV) light can enhance hospitals’ efforts to disinfect patient rooms from drug-resistant bacteria, according to a new study led by Duke Health.
The study, recently published in The Lancet, tested the use of ultraviolet C (UVC) against four superbugs: methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA); vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE); Acinetobacter; and Clostridium difficile.
The trial compared standard disinfection using quaternary ammonium with three other cleaning methods: quaternary ammonium followed by UV light; chlorine bleach without UV light; and bleach with UV light.
The study was conducted in nine Southeast hospitals and included more than 21,000 patients, each of whom stayed overnight in a room where someone with a known positive culture or infection of a superbug had been treated.
The researchers found that the additional cleaning provided by the UV light cumulatively decreased infection by 30 percent in the patient who occupied the room next.