Novel light beams can kill hospital superbugs

Hospital superbugs resistant to antibiotics could be eliminated using light beams.

London: Hospital superbugs resistant to antibiotics could be eliminated using light beams.

A team from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Britain, has developed a pioneering lighting system that can kill unyielding microbes.

The technology decontaminates the air and exposes surfaces by bathing them in a narrow spectrum of visible-light wavelengths, known as HINS-light.

It works by exciting molecules within the bacteria, which in turn produces `highly reactive` chemical species that are lethal to it, reports the Daily Mail.

Clinical trials at Glasgow Royal Infirmary suggest the HINS-light Environmental Decontamination System could provide significantly greater reductions of bacterial pathogens in hospitals than cleaning and disinfection alone.

Other methods of decontamination, including gas sterilants or ultraviolet light can also be hazardous to staff and patients.

Scientists said it was `a huge step forward` in preventing the spread of hospital infections. The technology was discovered and developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts from the university.

Professor John Anderson, a microbiologist from the university, said: `The technology kills pathogens but is harmless to patients and staff, which means for the first time, hospitals can continuously disinfect wards and isolation rooms.`

`The clinical trials have shown that the technology can help prevent the environmental transmission of pathogens and thereby increase patient safety,` he said.

The technology uses violet coloured HINS-light, but the research team has used a combination of LED technologies to produce a warm white lighting system that can be used alongside normal hospital lighting.


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