Aims: Quantitative data on the doses needed to inactivate micro-organisms on fomites are not available for ultraviolet applications. The goal of this study was to determine the doses of UV light needed to reduce bacteria and murine norovirus (MNV) on hard surface fomites through experimentation and to identify appropriate models for predicting targeted levels of reduction. Methods and Results: Stainless steel and Formica laminate coupons were selected as they are common surfaces found in healthcare settings. Test organisms included methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), Clostridium difficile and MNV. The fomites were inoculated with 105–107 bacteria or virus and exposed to a range of UV doses. The order of resistance to UV irradiation was virus, bacterial spore and vegetative cell. The best fitting inactivation curves suggested nonlinear responses to increasing doses after a 3–4 log reduction in the test organisms. The average UV doses required for a 3 log reduction in the C. difficile, MRSA and VRE were 16 000, 6164 and 11 228 (mJ-s cm−2) for stainless steel, respectively, and 16 000, 11 727 and 12 441 (mJ-s cm−2) for Formica laminate, respectively. Conclusions: Higher UV light doses are required to inactivate bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces than in suspension. Greater doses are needed to inactivate bacterial spores and MNV compared to vegetative bacteria. Significance and Impact of the Study: Quantitative data and models on UV light doses needed to inactivate bacteria and MNV on hard surfaces are now available. The generalizable results of this study can be used to estimate required UV dosages to achieve targeted levels of inactivation based on estimated levels of contamination or to support quantitative microbial risk assessments.
- bacterial spores
- hard surfaces
- ultraviolet applications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology