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      The use of a UV-C disinfection robot in the routine cleaning process: a field study in an Academic hospital

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          Abstract

          Background

          Environmental surface decontamination is a crucial tool to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals. However, manual cleaning and disinfection may be insufficient to eliminate pathogens from contaminated surfaces. Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) irradiation deploying autonomous disinfection devices, i.e. robots, are increasingly advertised to complement standard decontamination procedures with concurrent reduction of time and workload. Although the principle of UV-C based disinfection is proven, little is known about the operational details of UV-C disinfection delivered by robots. To explore the impact of a UV-C disinfection robot in the clinical setting, we investigated its usability and the effectiveness as an add-on to standard environmental cleaning and disinfection. Additionally, its effect on Candida auris, a yeast pathogen resistant to antifungals and disinfectants, was studied.

          Methods

          After setting the parameters “surface distance” and “exposure time” for each area as given by the manufacturer, the robot moved autonomously and emitted UV-C irradiation in the waiting areas of two hospital outpatient clinics after routine cleaning and/or disinfection. To quantify the efficacy of the robotic UV-C disinfection, we obtained cultures from defined sampling sites in these areas at baseline, after manual cleaning/disinfection and after the use of the robot. Four different C. auris strains at two concentrations and either in a lag or in a stationary growth phase were placed in these areas and exposed to UV-C disinfection as well.

          Results

          The UV-C irradiation significantly reduced the microbial growth on the surfaces after manual cleaning and disinfection. C. auris growth in the lag phase was inhibited by the UV-C irradiation but not in the presence of the rim shadows. The effects on C. auris in the stationary phase were differential, but overall C. auris strains were not effectively killed by the standard UV-C disinfection cycle. Regarding usability, the robot’s interface was not intuitive, requiring advanced technical knowledge or intensive training prior to its use. Additionally, the robot required interventions by the technical operator during the disinfection process, e.g. stopping due to unforeseen minor dislocation of items during the clinical service or due to moving individuals, making it a delicate high-tech device but not yet ready for the autonomous use in the clinical routine.

          Conclusions

          Presently, the UV-C robot tested in this study is not ready to be integrated in the environmental cleaning and disinfection procedures in our hospital. The single standard disinfection UV-C irradiation cycle is not sufficient to inactivate pathogens with augmented environmental resilience, e.g. C. auris, particularly when microbial loads are high.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s13756-021-00945-4.

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          Most cited references31

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          Multistate point-prevalence survey of health care-associated infections.

          Currently, no single U.S. surveillance system can provide estimates of the burden of all types of health care-associated infections across acute care patient populations. We conducted a prevalence survey in 10 geographically diverse states to determine the prevalence of health care-associated infections in acute care hospitals and generate updated estimates of the national burden of such infections. We defined health care-associated infections with the use of National Healthcare Safety Network criteria. One-day surveys of randomly selected inpatients were performed in participating hospitals. Hospital personnel collected demographic and limited clinical data. Trained data collectors reviewed medical records retrospectively to identify health care-associated infections active at the time of the survey. Survey data and 2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample data, stratified according to patient age and length of hospital stay, were used to estimate the total numbers of health care-associated infections and of inpatients with such infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011. Surveys were conducted in 183 hospitals. Of 11,282 patients, 452 had 1 or more health care-associated infections (4.0%; 95% confidence interval, 3.7 to 4.4). Of 504 such infections, the most common types were pneumonia (21.8%), surgical-site infections (21.8%), and gastrointestinal infections (17.1%). Clostridium difficile was the most commonly reported pathogen (causing 12.1% of health care-associated infections). Device-associated infections (i.e., central-catheter-associated bloodstream infection, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and ventilator-associated pneumonia), which have traditionally been the focus of programs to prevent health care-associated infections, accounted for 25.6% of such infections. We estimated that there were 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute care hospitals in 2011. Results of this multistate prevalence survey of health care-associated infections indicate that public health surveillance and prevention activities should continue to address C. difficile infections. As device- and procedure-associated infections decrease, consideration should be given to expanding surveillance and prevention activities to include other health care-associated infections.
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            How long do nosocomial pathogens persist on inanimate surfaces? A systematic review

            Background Inanimate surfaces have often been described as the source for outbreaks of nosocomial infections. The aim of this review is to summarize data on the persistence of different nosocomial pathogens on inanimate surfaces. Methods The literature was systematically reviewed in MedLine without language restrictions. In addition, cited articles in a report were assessed and standard textbooks on the topic were reviewed. All reports with experimental evidence on the duration of persistence of a nosocomial pathogen on any type of surface were included. Results Most gram-positive bacteria, such as Enterococcus spp. (including VRE), Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA), or Streptococcus pyogenes, survive for months on dry surfaces. Many gram-negative species, such as Acinetobacter spp., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Serratia marcescens, or Shigella spp., can also survive for months. A few others, such as Bordetella pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae, Proteus vulgaris, or Vibrio cholerae, however, persist only for days. Mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and spore-forming bacteria, including Clostridium difficile, can also survive for months on surfaces. Candida albicans as the most important nosocomial fungal pathogen can survive up to 4 months on surfaces. Persistence of other yeasts, such as Torulopsis glabrata, was described to be similar (5 months) or shorter (Candida parapsilosis, 14 days). Most viruses from the respiratory tract, such as corona, coxsackie, influenza, SARS or rhino virus, can persist on surfaces for a few days. Viruses from the gastrointestinal tract, such as astrovirus, HAV, polio- or rota virus, persist for approximately 2 months. Blood-borne viruses, such as HBV or HIV, can persist for more than one week. Herpes viruses, such as CMV or HSV type 1 and 2, have been shown to persist from only a few hours up to 7 days. Conclusion The most common nosocomial pathogens may well survive or persist on surfaces for months and can thereby be a continuous source of transmission if no regular preventive surface disinfection is performed.
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              First hospital outbreak of the globally emerging Candida auris in a European hospital

              Background Candida auris is a globally emerging multidrug resistant fungal pathogen causing nosocomial transmission. We report an ongoing outbreak of C. auris in a London cardio-thoracic center between April 2015 and July 2016. This is the first report of C. auris in Europe and the largest outbreak so far. We describe the identification, investigation and implementation of control measures. Methods Data on C. auris case demographics, environmental screening, implementation of infection prevention/control measures, and antifungal susceptibility of patient isolates were prospectively recorded then analysed retrospectively. Speciation of C. auris was performed by MALDI-TOF and typing of outbreak isolates performed by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP). Results This report describes an ongoing outbreak of 50 C. auris cases over the first 16 month (April 2015 to July 2016) within a single Hospital Trust in London. A total of 44 % (n = 22/50) patients developed possible or proven C. auris infection with a candidaemia rate of 18 % (n = 9/50). Environmental sampling showed persistent presence of the yeast around bed space areas. Implementation of strict infection and prevention control measures included: isolation of cases and their contacts, wearing of personal protective clothing by health care workers, screening of patients on affected wards, skin decontamination with chlorhexidine, environmental cleaning with chorine based reagents and hydrogen peroxide vapour. Genotyping with AFLP demonstrated that C. auris isolates from the same geographic region clustered. Conclusion This ongoing outbreak with genotypically closely related C. auris highlights the importance of appropriate species identification and rapid detection of cases in order to contain hospital acquired transmission.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                elisabeth.presterl@meduniwien.ac.at
                Journal
                Antimicrob Resist Infect Control
                Antimicrob Resist Infect Control
                Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control
                BioMed Central (London )
                2047-2994
                29 May 2021
                29 May 2021
                2021
                : 10
                : 84
                Affiliations
                GRID grid.22937.3d, ISNI 0000 0000 9259 8492, Department of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, , Medical University Vienna, ; Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4395-7403
                Article
                945
                10.1186/s13756-021-00945-4
                8164075
                34051861
                df12d647-4c45-4d23-bf07-e033aeaf1dbc
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                History
                : 2 December 2020
                : 26 February 2021
                Categories
                Research
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2021

                Infectious disease & Microbiology
                healthcare-associated infections,infection control,ultraviolet-c,uv-c robot,candida auris

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