-From the movie The Shining, 1980
I’m reviewing papers for a talk I’m preparing on “control of multiple drug resistant gram negative rods (MDR-GNRs)”. So I’m looking again at a set of studies that always scare me (even more than a Stephen King novel)—those that demonstrate that a variety of bad bugs (C. difficile, MRSA, VRE, and MDR-GNRs) can be “left behind” after a patient is discharged, poised to colonize or infect the next occupant of that hospital room. It is a scandalous indictment of current hospital disinfection practices that patients must be haunted by the pathogens of the previous occupant of their hospital bed!
There are still some practical (and financial) hurdles that must be overcome before new disinfection technologies (UV light, H2O2 vapor, antimicrobial surfaces, etc.) become standard of care. In the long run, though, I think that’s where the future lies—excellence in cleaning will remain important (organic debris will always require removal), but for microbial eradication in the environment, these technologies are going to replace our existing, more rudimentary approaches.