Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New weapon to fight hospital infections

03.01.2003


A potential new weapon in the fight against hospital acquired infections has been discovered by researchers at the University of Leeds.



The scientists studied the effect of negative air ionisers on infections caused by acinetobacter; a pathogen responsible for increasing numbers of sometimes fatal infections amongst hospital patients. Ionisers were placed in the intensive care unit at St James’s University Hospital, which, like similar wards across the UK, has had recurrent problems with infections caused by acinetobacter.

For the first six months the researchers, from the aerobiological research group in the University’s school of civil engineering, monitored the normal situation in the unit, taking samples from surfaces, patients and from the air to monitor bacteria levels, and logging the number of patient infections. During the second half of the year-long trial, the ionisers were switched on, and the results were impressive: infections due to acinetobacter reduced dramatically.


Lead researcher Dr Clive Beggs said: "This is the first epidemiological study of its kind into the use of ionisers in hospital wards and the initial results are very promising. We believe that the negative air ions are removing the bacteria from the air, so stopping the transmission of infection. Our tests have focused solely on acinetobacter, but it’s possible the ionisers may have had an effect on other airborne bacteria. We now need to carry out further research to determine exactly how the ions work and how widespread their effects could be."

Even without further research, the fact the ionisers are already making a difference is good enough for lead consultant at St James’s intensive care unit, Dr Stephen Dean. "We wanted to be involved in the trial as infections are a major issue for units such as ours, where many patients are already very vulnerable," he said. "The results have been fantastic - so much so that we asked the University to leave the ionisers with us. Since the trial finished in May, we’ve kept them in operation, and have continued to see greatly reduced acinetobacter infections on the ward."

Dr Kevin Kerr, lead clinical microbiologist on the project, said: “Acinetobacter infections are very difficult to treat as the bacterium is resistant to nearly all antibiotics, so prevention of these infections is of key importance. Ionisers may become a powerful weapon in the fight against hospital-acquired infection.”

The researchers have compiled their report for NHS Estates who funded the study, and will be publishing a paper on the research in the new year. They are continuing their work on negative air ions and are conducting further trials and experiments at the University of Leeds.

Abigail Chard | alfa
Further information:
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/media/current/acinetobacter.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

22.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Meter-sized single-crystal graphene growth becomes possible

22.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Repairing damaged hearts with self-healing heart cells

22.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>