Impact of a Novel Antimicrobial Surface Coating on Health Care-Associated Infections and Environmental Bioburden at 2 Urban Hospitals

Katherine D. Ellingson, Kristen Pogreba-Brown, Charles P. Gerba, Sean P. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Approximately 1 in 25 people admitted to a hospital in the United States will suffer a health care-associated infection (HAI). Environmental contamination of hospital surfaces contributes to HAI transmission. We investigated the impact of an antimicrobial surface coating on HAIs and environmental bioburdens at 2 urban hospitals. Methods: A transparent antimicrobial surface coating was applied to patient rooms and common areas in 3 units at each hospital. Longitudinal regression models were used to compare changes in hospital-onset multidrug-resistant organism bloodstream infection (MDRO-BSI) and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) rates in the 12 months before and after application of the surface coating. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) were compared for units receiving the surface coating application and for contemporaneous control units. Environmental samples were collected pre- and post-application to identify bacterial colony forming units (CFUs) and the percent of sites positive for select, clinically relevant pathogens. Results: Across both hospitals, there was a 36% decline in pooled HAIs (combined MDRO-BSIsandCDIs) in units receiving the surface coating application (IRR, 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI],. 44-.91), and no decline in the control units (IRR, 1.20; 95% CI,. 92-1.55). Following the surface application, the total bacterial CFUs at Hospitals A and B declined by 79% and 75%, respectively; the percentages of environmental samples positive for clinically relevant pathogens also declined significantly for both hospitals. Conclusions: Statistically significant reductions in HAIs and environmental bioburdens occurred in the units receiving the antimicrobial surface coating, suggesting the potential for improved patient outcomes and persistent reductions in environmental contamination. Future studies should assess optimal implementation methods and long-term impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1807-1813
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 15 2020


  • cleaning
  • health care-associated infections
  • hospital environment
  • infection prevention
  • patients' rooms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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