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Using photon disinfection technologies for reducing bioburden in hospitals

21 September 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 17



Environmental cleaning and disinfection is the basis of the prevention of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs).


This study aimed to describe photon disinfection technologies (PDTs), report their impact on inactivating micro-organisms and preventing HAIs and to create recommendations for their implementation in hospital settings.


An integrated literature review was completed to evaluate and report the impact of PDTs in hospital settings. The quality of 23 articles were assessed, their contents analysed and results reported according to the PICOT model.


The microbiological impact of the PDT varied by micro-organism, settings and according to the used devices. It was crucial that environmental cleaning was completed before the disinfection.


The implementation of PDT in the hospital setting requires inquiry from the viewpoints of microbiological, environmental, occupational, technical and human safety. To enhance the safe implementation of PDTs, the construction and use of evidence-based global standards for PDT are crucial.

Environmental cleaning and disinfection measures are the basis for clinical improvements in infection prevention and control (IPC), preventing harm to patients and others from healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and infections with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) (Linam et al, 2022).

According to Suetens et al (2018) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) (Suetens, 2023), in Europe the adjusted prevalence of patients with at least one HAI was estimated at 6.5%, that is 3.8 million patients with at least one HAI, and 4.5 million infection episodes in 2016–2017. In England, the HAI prevalence was 6.4%, in Northern Ireland 6.1%, in Scotland 4.3% and in Wales 5.7%. Of all the 19 624 HAIs reported by the ECDC, the most frequent were respiratory tract infections (pneumonia) at 21.4%, urinary tract infections (18.9%), surgical site infections (18.4%), bloodstream infections (10.8%) and gastrointestinal infections (8.9%). Clostridioides difficile infections accounted for 54.6% of the latter and 4.9% of all HAIs. The IPC measures that prevent microbial spreading during outbreaks will vary, dependent on the setting and structural characteristics of the particular clinical area (Medioli et al, 2022). The selection of effective environmental and other IPC measures against the spreading of microbial agents in hospital settings is difficult due to low quality or lack of controlled and microbial agent-specific intervention studies (Medioli et al, 2022). The implementation of environmental IPC measures involves balanced ecological, economic and non-harmful choices (Pereira et al, 2023). This study aimed to analyse photon disinfection technologies (PDTs) for IPC in healthcare settings. The study objectives were to:

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