The Particulars: Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light in reducing bacteria in controlled, experimental conditions. The effectiveness of UV-C light against Clostridium difficile, Acinetobacter, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) in the hospital setting has not been established.

Data Breakdown: Researchers from Duke University obtained environmental cultures from the rooms of patients with infection due to C. difficile, Acinetobacter, or VRE after discharge but prior to terminal room cleaning. Cultures were then compared to those taken after administering UV-C light. The number of colony forming units (CFUs) decreased for VRE and Acinetobacter after implementing the UV-C intervention. Among the findings:

Before the UV-C InterventionAfter the UV-C Intervention
VRE719 CFUs15 CFUs
Acinetobacter52 CFUs1 CFU
C. difficile0 CFUs0 CFUs


Take Home Pearls:
UV-C light appears to be effective in killing VRE and Acinetobacter in the hospital setting. More research is required to explore if UV-C light can kill C. difficile.