Background Disinfection of the intraluminal space of single-lumen polymer tubes can be obtained by ultraviolet C (UVC) light exposure from an external light source. In existing catheters UVC disinfection is hampered by the design of the catheter hub and tube connector. Aim To demonstrate that it is possible to design a single-lumen catheter with a hub, tube connector and tube parts that can be UVC-disinfected throughout its entire lumen. Methods Two single-lumen catheters were designed: one control and one for UVC exposure. They were contaminated with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (104–105 cfu/mL) before UVC light exposure, sampling and plate counting. Findings Two minutes of UVC exposure was sufficient to obtain 4 log10 disinfection for the full-length prototype catheter. This exposure corresponds to ∼40 mJ/cm2 at the catheter tip and indicates that even shorter exposure times can be achieved. Conclusions It is possible to design catheters that can be disinfected throughout the entire lumen. UVC light exposure could be useful as a decontamination method for catheters in clinical use.
Journal of Hospital Infection, 2013, Vol 84, Issue 2