The hospital environment harbors bacteria that may cause health care-associated infections. Microorganisms, such as multiresistant bacteria, can spread around the patient's inanimate environment. Some recently introduced biodecontamination approaches in hospitals have significant limitations due to the toxic nature of the gases and the length of time required for aeration. This study evaluated the in vitrouse of cold air plasma as an efficient alternative to traditional methods of biodecontamination of hospital surfaces. Cultures of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli, and Acinetobacter baumannii were applied to different materials similar to those found in the hospital environment. Artificially contaminated sections of marmoleum, mattress, polypropylene, powder-coated mild steel, and stainless steel were then exposed to a cold air pressure plasma single jet for 30 s, 60 s, and 90 s, operating at approximately 25 W and 12 liters/min flow rate. Direct plasma exposure successfully reduced the bacterial load by log 3 for MRSA, log 2.7 for VRE, log 2 for ESBL-producing E. coli, and log 1.7 for A. baumannii. The present report confirms the efficient antibacterial activity of a cold air plasma single-jet plume on nosocomial bacterially contaminated surfaces over a short period of time and highlights its potential for routine biodecontamination in the clinical environment.
Cahill, Orla J. et al. “Cold Air Plasma To Decontaminate Inanimate Surfaces of the Hospital Environment.” Ed. C. A. Elkins. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80.6 (2014): 2004–2010. PMC. Web. 20 June 2015.
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