The Bradford Infection Group (BIG), based within the University of Bradford’s Schools of Engineering, Design & Technology and Life Sciences, was recently awarded funding worth over £175,000 to investigate an alternative strategy for controlling hospital acquired infections.
The grant, from the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research NHS Physical Environment Research Programme, will support BIG’s two-year programme of research which will involve simulating a hospital ward environment using a brand new state-of-the-art aerobiological test chamber housed at the University of Bradford.
This facility, thought to be the largest in the UK and one of the largest known facilities of its kind in the world, allows microbiological experiments to be undertaken in a completely controlled environment and enables researchers to mimic parts of hospitals, such as isolation wards.
Head of the Bradford Infection Group is Clive Beggs, Professor of Medical Engineering at the University of Bradford. He said: “Approximately one in ten patients pick up an infection during a hospital stay. While hand washing and other hygiene measures are vital, evidence suggests that these measures alone are not always enough to prevent certain infections and therefore a fresh approach is needed.
“We know that many Gram-negative bacteria desiccate and die in dry environments. We are therefore investigating the extent to which humidity control might assist in the fight against infection.”
Director General of Research and Development at the Department of Health, Professor Sally C. Davies, said: “Preventing and controlling hospital acquired infections is an absolute priority for patients and the NHS.
“We need to investigate all the potential causes from every conceivable angle to make sure we are providing hospitals with the best available information and enable them to focus on priority areas.
“The finds of this important research will support NHS Trusts in the delivery of clean, safe and reliable health care.”
The research group will be modelling the impact of humidity on bacteria and, in particular, looking at how humidity control might be used to prevent the spread of infection via contaminated surfaces and air in hospital wards.
Dr Anna Snelling, Microbiologist at the University of Bradford and a member of the BIG, said: “The biological impact of changes in room humidity on different pathogens is something that is still poorly understood. This is an important and much overlooked subject which may hold the key to future improvements in ward cleanliness.”
The aerobiological test chamber at the University of Bradford has just recently been completed and is 80m3 in size. This facility is one of very few in the world and is similar to the chamber at Harvard University in the USA.
“We are very pleased to have such a world class facility,” added Professor Beggs. “It will greatly assist us in our experiments and should enable the Group to investigate the efficacy of a wide range of hygiene and disinfection products in partnership with healthcare providers and industry.”
Oliver Tipper | alfa
Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences