Evaluation of hydrogen peroxide vapor for the inactivation of nosocomial pathogens on porous and nonporous surfaces


      • Hydrogen peroxide vapor inactivated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, and Acinetobacter baumannii dried on surfaces.
      • Equal activity found on porous and nonporous surfaces and at 4 room locations.
      • Study was performed in an operating room environment.


      Clostridium difficile spores and multidrug-resistant (MDR) organisms, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and MDR Acinetobacter baumannii, are important nosocomial pathogens that are difficult to eliminate from the hospital environment. We evaluated the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV), a no-touch automated room decontamination system, for the inactivation of a range of pathogens dried onto hard nonporous and porous surfaces in an operating room (OR).


      Stainless steel and cotton carriers containing >4 log10 viable MRSA, VRE, or MDR A baumannii were placed at 4 locations in the OR along with 7 pouched 6 log10 Geobacillus stearothermophilus spore biologic indicators (BIs). HPV was then used to decontaminate the OR. The experiment was repeated 3 times.


      HPV inactivated all spore BIs (>6 log10 reduction), and no MRSA, VRE, or MDR A baumannii were recovered from the stainless steel and cotton carriers (>4-5 log10 reduction, depending on the starting inoculum). HPV was equally effective at all carrier locations. We did not identify any difference in efficacy for microbes dried onto stainless steel or cotton surfaces, indicating that HPV may have a role in the decontamination of both porous and nonporous surfaces.


      HPV is an effective way to decontaminate clinical areas where contamination with bacterial spores and MDR organisms is suspected.

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