Annett Altvater

Annett Altvater

Manager Communications

Tel. +41 61 295 50 02

report Innovation


University hospital fights multiresistant bacteria

University Hospital Basel has become the first in Switzerland to purchase a special mobile disinfection device. It uses ultraviolet radiation to effectively kill multiresistant bacteria.

Hospitals face the challenging task of cleaning wards without leaving behind any traces of multiresistant bacteria. Exacerbating the problem, chemical scour-wipe disinfection has its limits, explained University Hospital Basel (USB).

Now, USB is garnering positive feedback following its introduction of a mobile disinfection device that uses ultraviolet radiation (UVC) to kill multiresistant bacteria. This reduces the risk of spreading germs to other patients and largely eliminates the potential for an epidemic.   

Disinfection with the device takes only ten to 40 minutes per room, compared to the hours of cleaning previously required. “The UVC method is a ground-breaking development for enhancing efficiency at USB,” commented the hospital.

It is not only efficient, but also effective. In the recent Swiss-wide vancomycin-resistant enterococci epidemic (VRE), the UVC device clamped down on the spread at USB very quickly. To target usage of the device, it is important to identify the carrier of the bacteria – an area in which the hospital works successfully with its Clinic for Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology and the Laboratory for Clinical Microbiology.

To illustrate the problem with multiresistant bacteria, USB highlighted figures from “The Lancet”, showing that in Europe in 2015, 670,000 infections were registered – 64 per cent of them in a hospital. Following its successful deployment of the UVC device, University Hospital Basel is acquiring a second.


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