The role of 'no-touch' automated room disinfection systems in infection prevention and control

J. A. Otter, S. Yezli, T. M. Perl, F. Barbut, G. L. French

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Background: Surface contamination in hospitals is involved in the transmission of pathogens in a proportion of healthcare-associated infections. Admission to a room previously occupied by a patient colonized or infected with certain nosocomial pathogens increases the risk of acquisition by subsequent occupants; thus, there is a need to improve terminal disinfection of these patient rooms. Conventional disinfection methods may be limited by reliance on the operator to ensure appropriate selection, formulation, distribution and contact time of the agent. These problems can be reduced by the use of 'no-touch' automated room disinfection (NTD) systems. Aim: To summarize published data related to NTD systems. Methods: Pubmed searches for relevant articles. Findings: A number of NTD systems have emerged, which remove or reduce reliance on the operator to ensure distribution, contact time and process repeatability, and aim to improve the level of disinfection and thus mitigate the increased risk from the prior room occupant. Available NTD systems include hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) vapour systems, aerosolized hydrogen peroxide (aHP) and ultraviolet radiation. These systems have important differences in their active agent, delivery mechanism, efficacy, process time and ease of use. Typically, there is a trade-off between time and effectiveness among NTD systems. The choice of NTD system should be influenced by the intended application, the evidence base for effectiveness, practicalities of implementation and cost constraints. Conclusion: NTD systems are gaining acceptance as a useful tool for infection prevention and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • 'No-touch' automated room disinfection (NTD)
  • AHP
  • Disinfection
  • HO
  • HPV
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Hospital
  • Hydrogen peroxide vapour/aerosol
  • Surface contamination
  • UVC
  • Ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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