General care

Hydrogen peroxide spray system controls MRSA and C. difficile in hospitals

3 October 2007

Netherlands-based TNO and Infection Control have developed a system using hydrogen peroxide that can effectively disinfect a hospital room in four hours. It can kill resistant forms of bacteria, including MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

The IC-4TM dosing system refines hydrogen peroxide into a very fine spray, achieving a million-fold reduction for bacteria and spores.

Contamination by hospital bacteria is common in hospitals. One of the most notorious is the MRSA bacteria, the dread of many a hospital director. Each year tens of outbreaks occur in the Netherlands, costing millions of euros in damage, and internationally the number of outbreaks go into the thousands.

The research by TNO and Infection Control focused specifically on the capacity of hydrogen peroxide to kill the bacteria as spores and vegetative cells. Given their highly resistant properties, spores tend to be very difficult to kill off. The research studied Bacillus subtiles (spores), Clostridium difficile (spores) and Staphylococcus aureus (vegetative).

The investigation centred on determining which factors influence the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant, specifically a stable hydrogen peroxide solution.

The ultimate concentration of hydrogen peroxide required in the air to be sufficiently deadly is highly dependent on the materials present(linoleum, metal, carpet, wallpaper, laminate). Based on the relationship between the building materials and hydrogen peroxide, TNO has determined which conditions guarantee that hydrogen peroxide can kill micro-organisms. The tests were performed in TNO laboratories and validated in practical situations (TerGooi hospital).

The current standard method of disinfecting a room takes a couple of days. The new refined system for hydrogen peroxide has been shown by this research to disinfect effectively in 4 hours.

The method has been patented by Infection Control and is being made commercially available worldwide.

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