New lighting technology fights hospital superbugs

Pus oozing from an abscess caused by bacteria—...
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MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is one of the most prevalent and difficult to eradicate superbugs in hospitals, having become resistant to multiple antibiotics.

A less well known bacterium Clostridium difficile (C diff), is also antibiotic resistant and on the increase. Infection prevention procedures used to address one superbug will not work for others, and traditional decontamination methods can be harmful to staff and patients. This new lighting system that kills bacterial pathogens but is harmless to humans may help beat this potentially deadly threat in our hospitals. The technology decontaminates the air and exposed surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light.

The technology has been developed by a team at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Clinical trials have shown significantly greater reductions of superbugs like MRSA and C diff in the hospital environment than can be achieved by cleaning and disinfection alone.

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