Technologies to decontaminate bacterial biofilm on hospital surfaces: a potential new role for cold plasma?
Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) are a major challenge and the near patient surface is important in harbouring causes such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridioides difficile. Current approaches to decontamination are sub-optimal and many studies have demonstrated that microbial causes of HCAIs may persist with onward transmission. This may be due to the capacity of these microbes to survive in biofilms on surfaces. New technologies to enhance hospital decontamination may have a role in addressing this challenge. We have reviewed current technologies such as UV light and hydrogen peroxide and also assessed the potential use of cold atmospheric pressure plasma (CAPP) in surface decontamination. The antimicrobial mechanisms of CAPP are not fully understood but the production of reactive oxygen and other species is believed to be important. CAPP systems have been shown to partially or completely remove a variety of biofilms including those caused by Candida albicans, and multi-drug-resistant bacteria such as MRSA. There are some studies that suggest promise for CAPP in the challenge of surface decontamination in the healthcare setting. However, further work is required to define better the mechanism of action. We need to know what surfaces are most amenable to treatment, how microbial components and the maturity of biofilms may affect successful treatment, and how would CAPP be used in the clinical setting.
Strategic Academic Recruitment Scholar (StAR) funded by the RCSI
Enterprise Ireland grant, CF2015/56701A
Health Research Board grant, HRA-DI-2015-1141
CommentsThe original article is available at https://www.microbiologyresearch.org/
Published CitationFallon M, Kennedy S, Daniels S, Humphreys H. Technologies to decontaminate bacterial biofilm on hospital surfaces: a potential new role for cold plasma? J Med Microbiol. 2022;71(10).
Publication Date6 October 2022
- Clinical Microbiology
- Beaumont Hospital
- Published Version (Version of Record)