Department of Biological Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA; Medical Student, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, Stony Brook, NY; Medical Student, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA; Toxics Use Reduction Institute, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA; Department of Clinical Laboratory and Nutritional Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface-mediated infectious disease transmission is a major concern in various settings, including schools, hospitals, and food-processing facilities. Chemical disinfectants are frequently used to reduce contamination, but many pose significant risks to humans, surfaces, and the environment, and all must be properly applied in strict accordance with label instructions to be effective. This study set out to determine the capability of a novel chemical-free, saturated steam vapor disinfection system to kill microorganisms, reduce surface-mediated infection risks, and serve as an alternative to chemical disinfectants.
High concentrations of Escherichia coli, Shigella flexneri, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Salmonella enterica, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, MS2 coliphage (used as a surrogate for nonenveloped viruses including norovirus), Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, and the endospores of Clostridium difficile were dried individually onto porous clay test surfaces. Surfaces were treated with the saturated steam vapor disinfection system for brief periods and then numbers of surviving microorganisms were determined. Infection risks were calculated from the kill-time data using microbial dose-response relationships published in the scientific literature, accounting for surface-to-hand and hand-to-mouth transfer efficiencies.
A diverse assortment of pathogenic microorganisms was rapidly killed by the steam disinfection system; all of the pathogens tested were completely inactivated within 5 seconds. Risks of infection from the contaminated surfaces decreased rapidly with increasing periods of treatment by the saturated steam vapor disinfection system.
The saturated steam vapor disinfection system tested for this study is chemical-free, broadly active, rapidly efficacious, and therefore represents a novel alternative to liquid chemical disinfectants.
American journal of infection control 08/2008; 37(1):20-7. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent scientific literature suggests that portable steam vapor systems are capable of rapid, chemical-free surface disinfection in controlled laboratory studies. This study evaluated the efficacy of a portable steam vapor system in a hospital setting.
The study was carried out in 8 occupied rooms of a long-term care wing of a hospital. Six surfaces per room were swabbed before and after steam treatment and analyzed for heterotrophic plate count (HPC), total coliforms, methicillin-intermediate and -resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MISA and MRSA), and Clostridium difficile.
The steam vapor device consistently reduced total microbial and pathogen loads on hospital surfaces, to below detection in most instances. Treatment reduced the presence of total coliforms on surfaces from 83% (40/48) to 13% (6/48). Treatment reduced presumptive MISA (12/48) and MRSA (3/48) to below detection after cleaning, except for 1 posttreatment isolation of MISA (1/48). A single C difficile colony was isolated from a door push panel before treatment, but no C difficile was detected after treatment.
The steam vapor system reduced bacterial levels by >90% and reduced pathogen levels on most surfaces to below the detection limit. The steam vapor system provides a means to reduce levels of microorganisms on hospital surfaces without the drawbacks associated with chemicals, and may decrease the risk of cross-contamination.
American journal of infection control 06/2011; 39(8):655-62. · 3.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Environmental surfaces in health care settings are often contaminated by microorganisms, and biofilms can develop on the surfaces in these settings. Steam vapor technology is of potential use for disinfection of biofilms on the environmental surfaces. METHODS: We tested the disinfection efficacy of a thermal-accelerated nanocrystal sanitation (TANCS)-equipped steam vapor technology against biofilms through disinfecting biofilms developed by 4 bacterial strains-Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus-on an identical test surface (ie, polycarbonate) and biofilms developed by E coli on 4 different test surfaces: polycarbonate, rubber, stainless steel, and ceramics. RESULTS: Our data show that a 3-second steam treatment rapidly killed each biofilm tested (>99.95 % killing efficiency). For biofilms developed on different surfaces, 3-second steam treatment achieved 99.95% killing of E coli biofilms developed on different surfaces. Compared with chemical disinfection, steam treatment for <1 second a similar level of biofilm disinfection as provided by incubation with 10-ppm sodium hypochlorite (bleach) for 10-20 minutes of contact time. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the TANCS-equipped steam vapor disinfection is an emerging and potentially useful technology for disinfecting biofilms on environmental surfaces.
American journal of infection control 03/2012; · 3.01 Impact Factor
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