French study confirms impact of HPV technology on multidrug-resistant bacteria

Hydrogen peroxide vapour found to have positive effect on burns unit bugs

The decontamination qualities of hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) have been further proven after reducing the incidence of nosocomial MRSA and Acinetobacter baumannii at one of Europe’s leading burns units.

The results of work conducted at Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, France, by Dr Frederic Barbut and his team have recently been published, demonstrating the effectiveness of regular HPV disinfection of rooms following discharge of patients known to be affected by multidrug-resistant bacteria.

The Saint-Antoine Hospital burns unit is one of two major reference burns centres in Paris and previously had an ongoing problem with Acinetobacter infections when it experienced a major MRSA outbreak in 2007. This led to the closure of the unit in July 2008.

As a result, the entire unit was decontaminated using Bioquell’s HPV technology and an infection control bundle (ICB) was implemented when the unit re-opened in September 2008. The ICB comprised regular HPV disinfection of the rooms following discharge of patients colonised or infected by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), pre-emptive cohort isolation of newly-admitted patients before being proven culture negative, and cohorting of colonised or infected patients. In addition, two air disinfection systems were installed in the corridors of the unit and improvements made to material storage.

HPV disinfection was shown to be effective at significantly reducing environmental contamination, both bacterial and fungal, from surfaces and the air within the unit and eliminating pathogens from the environment. The ICB stopped the MRSA outbreak and resulted in a significant reduction in the incidence of nosocomial MRSA (89.3%) and A. baumannii (88.8%). It also prevented further outbreaks of these organisms in the burns unit.

Commenting on the research, James Salkeld, head of healthcare at Bioquell, said: “Interestingly, results showed that surfaces were still contaminated with Acinetobacter, E coli and S aureus, including MRSA, after standard terminal cleaning and before HPV treatment. Aspergillus was also isolated from the air before HPV was used.

“Bioquell’s HPV disinfection process eliminated pathogens from the environment and significantly reduced total bacterial surface counts as well as fungal air and surface counts on both a room and unit scale. In fact, no pathogens were isolated from surfaces or any air samples after our HPV decontamination.”

The latest research will be published in the next Burns journal.

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