Efficacy of titanium dioxide compounds in preventing environmental contamination by meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

Wai Leng Chow, Aung Soe Tin, Woan Wui Lim, Jeremy Lim, Asok Kurup, Moi Lin Ling, Ai Ling Tan, Biauw Chi Ong


This study examined the efficacy of photocatalytic titanium dioxide (TiO2) coating in reducing environmental MRSA contamination via a cross-sectional observational study in a tertiary hospital using environmental samplings of TiO2 treated and TiO2 untreated surfaces from single rooms in intensive care unit, open-planned intermediate care area and general ward. Planned scheduled sampling occurred up to 24 months post TiO2 treatment. Ad hoc sampling of MRSA exposed environment occurred whenever MRSA infected or colonized patient was admitted for >48 hours. Efficacy of TiO2 in preventing environmental contamination was computed. Culture positive rates were compared between treated and untreated surfaces, and planned and ad hoc sampling. 698 samples were obtained. Samples from untreated surfaces and ad hoc samples were more likely to be culture positive (for MRSA and other bacteria) [untreated versus treated surfaces: odds ratio (OR) 2.95, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25 – 6.94, p=0.01; ad hoc sampling post MRSA exposure versus planned sampling: OR 4.52, 95% CI 2.131 – 9.615, p< 0.001)] . Multivariate analysis suggests only MRSA exposure influenced positive cultures. TiO2 did not influence positive culture results. More research is needed to evaluate the relative lack of TiO2 efficacy in preventing contamination.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3396/ijic.v9i3.11323