Comparison of the Efficacy of a Hydrogen Peroxide Dry-Mist Disinfection System and Sodium Hypochlorite Solution for Eradication of Clostridium difficile Spores

National Reference Laboratory for Clostridium difficile, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris.
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 4.18). 05/2009; 30(6):507-14. DOI: 10.1086/597232
Source: PubMed


To compare a hydrogen peroxide dry-mist system and a 0.5% hypochlorite solution with respect to their ability to disinfect Clostridium difficile-contaminated surfaces in vitro and in situ.
Prospective, randomized, before-after trial.
Two French hospitals affected by C. difficile.
In situ efficacy of disinfectants was assessed in rooms that had housed patients with C. difficile infection. A prospective study was performed at 2 hospitals that involved randomization of disinfection processes. When a patient with C. difficile infection was discharged, environmental contamination in the patient's room was evaluated before and after disinfection. Environmental surfaces were sampled for C. difficile by use of moistened swabs; swab samples were cultured on selective plates and in broth. Both disinfectants were tested in vitro with a spore-carrier test; in this test, 2 types of material, vinyl polychloride (representative of the room's floor) and laminate (representative of the room's furniture), were experimentally contaminated with spores from 3 C. difficile strains, including the epidemic clone ribotype 027-North American pulsed-field gel electrophoresis type 1.
There were 748 surface samples collected (360 from rooms treated with hydrogen peroxide and 388 from rooms treated with hypochlorite). Before disinfection, 46 (24%) of 194 samples obtained in the rooms randomized to hypochlorite treatment and 34 (19%) of 180 samples obtained in the rooms randomized to hydrogen peroxide treatment showed environmental contamination. After disinfection, 23 (12%) of 194 samples from hypochlorite-treated rooms and 4 (2%) of 180 samples from hydrogen peroxide treated rooms showed environmental contamination, a decrease in contamination of 50% after hypochlorite decontamination and 91% after hydrogen peroxide decontamination (P < .005). The in vitro activity of 0.5% hypochlorite was time dependent. The mean (+/-SD) reduction in initial log(10) bacterial count was 4.32 +/- 0.35 log(10) colony-forming units after 10 minutes of exposure to hypochlorite and 4.18 +/- 0.8 log(10) colony-forming units after 1 cycle of hydrogen peroxide decontamination.
In situ experiments indicate that the hydrogen peroxide dry-mist disinfection system is significantly more effective than 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solution at eradicating C. difficile spores and might represent a new alternative for disinfecting the rooms of patients with C. difficile infection.

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    • "Hydrogen peroxide vapor and hydrogen peroxide dry-mist have been shown to be highly effective in elimination of C. difficile spores [20]–[22]. However, these systems are relatively expensive to operate, a dedicated staff is required, and up to several hours may be required to complete room disinfection [20]–[22]. In contrast, after the initial purchase of the UV-C device, the cost of operating and maintaining them is minimal (i.e., electricity and annual bulb replacement of ∼ $20 each), a dedicated staff is not essential, and a 3 log10CFU reduction in C. difficile spores can be achieved in less than an hour. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Environmental surfaces play an important role in the transmission of healthcare-associated pathogens. Because environmental cleaning is often suboptimal, there is a growing demand for safe, rapid, and automated disinfection technologies, which has lead to a wealth of novel disinfection options available on the market. Specifically, automated ultraviolet-C (UV-C) devices have grown in number due to the documented efficacy of UV-C for reducing healthcare-acquired pathogens in hospital rooms. Here, we assessed and compared the impact of pathogen concentration, organic load, distance, and radiant dose on the killing efficacy of two analogous UV-C devices. Principal Findings The devices performed equivalently for each impact factor assessed. Irradiation delivered for 41 minutes at 4 feet from the devices consistently reduced C. difficile spores by ∼ 3 log10CFU/cm2, MRSA by>4 log10CFU/cm2, and VRE by >5 log10CFU/cm2. Pathogen concentration did not significantly impact the killing efficacy of the devices. However, both a light and heavy organic load had a significant negative impacted on the killing efficacy of the devices. Additionally, increasing the distance to 10 feet from the devices reduced the killing efficacy to ≤3 log10CFU/cm2 for MRSA and VRE and <2 log10CFU/cm2 for C.difficile spores. Delivery of reduced timed doses of irradiation particularly impacted the ability of the devices to kill C. difficile spores. MRSA and VRE were reduced by >3 log10CFU/cm2 after only 10 minutes of irradiation, while C. difficile spores required 40 minutes of irradiation to achieve a similar reduction. Conclusions The UV-C devices were equally effective for killing C. difficile spores, MRSA, and VRE. While neither device would be recommended as a stand-alone disinfection procedure, either device would be a useful adjunctive measure to routine cleaning in healthcare facilities.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Current guidelines to prevent dissemination of spore mediated diseases recommend decontamination of exposed individuals and environmental surfaces [12–15]. While there are disinfection methods to effectively address environmental contamination, there are currently no highly effective methods to reduce levels of spores on skin [12,13,16,17]. Procedures designed for effective sterilization of spores on environmental surfaces are harsh and cannot be safely applied to skin. "
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    ABSTRACT: Removing spores of Clostridium difficile and Bacillus anthracis from skin is challenging because they are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials and soap and water washing provides only modest efficacy. We hypothesized that hygiene interventions incorporating a sporicidal electrochemically generated hypochlorous acid solution (Vashe(®)) would reduce the burden of spores on skin. Hands of volunteers were inoculated with non-toxigenic C. difficile spores or B. anthracis spore surrogates to assess the effectiveness of Vashe solution for reducing spores on skin. Reduction in spores was compared for Vashe hygiene interventions versus soap and water (control). To determine the effectiveness of Vashe solution for removal of C. difficile spores from the skin of patients with C. difficile infection (CDI), reductions in levels of spores on skin were compared for soap and water versus Vashe bed baths. Spore removal from hands was enhanced with Vashe soak (>2.5 log10 reduction) versus soap and water wash or soak (~2.0 log10 reduction; P<0.05) and Vashe wipes versus alcohol wipes (P<0.01). A combined approach of soap and water wash followed by soaking in Vashe removed >3.5 log10 spores from hands (P<0.01 compared to washing or soaking alone). Bed baths using soap and water (N =26 patients) did not reduce the percentage of positive skin cultures for CDI patients (64% before versus 57% after bathing; P =0.5), whereas bathing with Vashe solution (N =21 patients) significantly reduced skin contamination (54% before versus 8% after bathing; P =0.0001). Vashe was well-tolerated with no evidence of adverse effects on skin. Vashe was safe and effective for reducing the burden of B. anthracis surrogates and C. difficile spores on hands. Bed baths with Vashe were effective for reducing C. difficile on skin. These findings suggest a novel strategy to reduce the burden of spores on skin.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Therefore, spores may remain on skin and surfaces for extended periods of time, presenting a difficult challenge for infection control programs in hospitals and nursing homes [6], [7]. Spore disinfection techniques are available to address environmental contamination, but each method has disadvantages that range from being time-consuming and expensive to being corrosive to surfaces and having only modest efficacy [8]–[11]. Moreover, there are no established methods for significantly reducing the burden of C. difficile spores from patient and healthcare workers’ skin. "
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    ABSTRACT: Germination is the irreversible loss of spore-specific properties prior to outgrowth. Because germinating spores become more susceptible to killing by stressors, induction of germination has been proposed as a spore control strategy. However, this strategy is limited by superdormant spores that remain unaffected by germinants. Harsh chemicals and heat activation are effective for stimulating germination of superdormant spores but are impractical for use in a hospital setting, where Clostridium difficile spores present a challenge. Here, we tested whether osmotic activation solutes will provide a mild alternative for stimulation of superdormant C. difficile spores in the presence of germinants as previously demonstrated in several species of Bacillus. In addition, we tested the hypothesis that the limitations of superdormancy can be circumvented with a combined approach using nisin, a FDA-approved safe bacteriocin, to inhibit outgrowth of germinated spores and osmotic activation solutes to enhance outgrowth inhibition by stimulating superdormant spores.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · PLoS ONE
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