Aerosol transmission may be more significant than previously recognized
Upper respiratory infections (URIs) in an animal shelter’s kitten nursery decreased 87.1%—‘’a significant decrease’’—when ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation air disinfection systems were used, according to a new study published in the November 1, 2020, issue of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA). Conducted at the Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix, AZ, using HVAC and upper air UV air disinfection systems manufactured and installed by Aerapy, LLC, marketed to the animal care industry under the company’s brand Aerapy Animal Health, the field trial is the first reported study of the use of UV in an animal shelter.
Airborne transmission of viral and bacterial pathogens has not been adequately addressed in disinfection protocols in animal facilities, the study’s authors note, yet respiratory pathogens pose a considerable threat to animal health in these facilities. The impact of aerosolized droplets, or aerosols, is addressed as these microscopic, potentially infectious particles can remain airborne for extended periods of time. Moreover, they may be a source of infection as they settle on surfaces. In short, the study posits, “disinfection of recirculated air in animal facilities should measurably and consistently reduce the number of airborne pathogens and therefore the number of URIs.”
“Our findings suggest the airborne component of feline respiratory infections may be more significant than previously recognized,” said the study’s lead author, Robyn A. Jaynes, DVM. “Further, even in well-ventilated spaces already outfitted with air filters, like the subject kitten nursery, more may need to be done to clean the air which is why, given these results, animal facilities may want to consider UV air disinfection as an addition to their existing infection control protocols.”
Throughout the study, standard operating protocols for cleaning the nursery were maintained and airflow through the HVAC system was constant. The installed Aerapy UV air disinfection systems, the in-duct HVAC equipment and the upper air unit (the company’s patented Zone360), produced a combined UV dose calculated by using Aerapy’s proprietary sizing method to eliminate more than 99% of target bacteria and viruses including influenza virus and feline calicivirus, as well as Bordetella bronchiseptica, MRSA, and distemper.
Read “Effect of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation of the air on the incidence of upper respiratory infections in kittens in a nursery” in the November 1, 2020, issue of JAVMA (https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.257.9.929).
About Aerapy, LLC
Aerapy manufactures UV disinfection equipment in both the human space and, under the brand Aerapy Animal Health (formerly PetAirapy), in the animal space. Since 2008 the company has been dedicated to developing researched, tested, and study-backed UV systems to help ensure clean and healthy indoor environments. Test results from a third-party, independent laboratory using strict test methods show that Aerapy UV systems killed up to 99.998% of tested virus and bacterial pathogens. For more information, visit AerapyAnimalHealth.com for animal environments and Aerapy.com for human environments.
Photo, above: Kitten nursery at Arizona Humane Society with Zone360 upper air UV unit shown. UV disinfection systems manufactured and installed by Aerapy (and its brand Aerapy Animal Health) reduced feline upper respiratory infections at the nursery by 87.1%. Photo taken October 2, 2020.