Pulsed xenon UV light kills C. diff and MRSA in hospital rooms, study finds

In just 10 minutes, a pulsed xenon ultraviolet disinfection robot can kill Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus on hospital room surfaces, according to a study in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

Researchers ran one of Xenex Disinfection Services' PX-UV disinfection robots for 10 minutes in hospital rooms, assessing the level of pathogen contamination on high-touch surfaces before and after doing so. They also examined the effect that pathogen concentration, distance from the device, organic load and shading from the direct field of radiation had on the machine's killing efficiency.

Overall, they found PX-UV significantly reduced the frequency of positive C. diff, VRE and MRSA culture results. Also, pathogen concentration, organic load and shading did not have an effect on killing efficacy, but increasing the distance from the PX-UV device significantly decreased the machine's killing efficacy.

Additionally, researchers also compared how well PX-UV and ultraviolet-C killed pathogens on glass slides, finding that "PX-UV was not more effective than continuous UV-C in reducing pathogen recovery on glass slides, suggesting that both forms of UV have some effectiveness at relatively short exposure times."

That being said, the study authors did note that "the PX-UV device has some important potential advantages over other UV disinfection devices," namely that PX-UV machines don't contain mercury and have a shorter recommended run time than UV-C machines.

"We are pleased with the results of the new environmental study," said Mark Stibich, PhD, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Xenex. "We encourage interested individuals to read the entire study because it makes several valuable points. Most importantly, while glass slide test may have some utility for evaluating UV disinfection, this new environmental data demonstrates that the Xenex devices have several potential advantages over other UV disinfection devices."

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