Research Articles by Dr. Curtis J. Donskey, MD:  [ 2016 SHEA Research Poster ]     [ 2016 AJIC Article ]

The C. diff. Crisis:


Thousands of deaths annually, billions of dollars in cost!

Approximately 1.7 million hospital acquired infections (HAIs) occur in U.S. hospitals each year, resulting in 99,000 deaths and an estimated $20 billion in healthcare costs. (5)

More specifically, Clostridium difficile (C-diff) is one of the most common hospital acquired infections, and the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly half a million (500,000) Americans suffer from Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infections in a single year. (1)

Approximately 29,000 patients have died within 30 days of the initial diagnosis of C. difficile.  Of those, about 15,000 deaths were estimated to be directly attributable to C. difficile infections, making C. difficile a very important cause of infectious disease death in the United States. (1)  These infections have resulted in healthcare expenditures between $9,000–15,000 per patient, or an estimated $1.5–3.2 billion annually. (2)

Patients infected with C. difficile (C-diff) can discharge millions of viable spores with each bowel movement. Because of the nature of the C-diff spore, it sticks to hands and clothing of patients and hospital staff as well as their shoes. (3) These spores are then transferred from patient to patient and from place to place.

In another recent peer reviewed paper, Dr. Koganti and Dr. Donskey et al., demonstrated that a non-pathogenic virus inoculated onto floors in hospital rooms disseminated rapidly to the hands of patients and to high-touch surfaces inside, and even outside, of the patient rooms. (3) Due to the ability of C. difficile spores to easily spread, it can be inferred that hospital room floors are a significant vector for the transmission of C. difficile.  The C. diff spores can be transmitted from the bathroom floors, to clothing and the hands of patients, and to other contact points in the patient rooms, as well as high touch surfaces and beyond. (3) The C. difficile spores can remain viable for months presenting a risk to patients and staff.

Because C. difficile infections are widespread and causing tens of thousands of American deaths each year, and are a financial drain on our society, there is no acceptable reason to allow a viable pathogenic residue to remain after a hospital room is treated by any surface treatment modality, including UV light.

The Altapure AP-4 technology when used as directed, will deliver a consistent 100% kill of all C. difficile spores in the entire treated space. (4) The published data clearly show that the Altapure technology will meet and exceed the EPA definition of “disinfection” and will do so for a patient room in less than 50 minutes. That’s correct, your facility can reduce the risk that another patient will become contaminated by a cross over infection, and do so in less than 50 minutes for the entire treated space.


1) Centers For Disease Control (CDC), Press Release, February 25, 2015.  Website link:

2) Irene Louh, MD, PhD, and Henry Ting, MD, et al.: “Clostridium Difficile Infection in Acute Care Hospitals: Systematic Review and Best Practices for Prevention”, infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, April 2017, Vol. 38, No. 4.

3) Sreelatha Koganti, MD, and Curtis J. Donskey, MD, et al.: "Evaluation of Hospital Floors as a Potential Source of Pathogen Dissemination Using a Nonpathogenic Virus as a Surrogate Marker", Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, November 2016, Vol. 37, No. 11.

4) Curtis J. Donskey, MD, and Thriveen S.C. Mana MS, MNO, et al.: “Evaluation Of An Automated Room Decontamination Device Using Aerosolized Peracetic Acid”, American Journal of Infection Control, March 2017, Vol 45, Issue 3.

5) Centers For Disease Control (CDC), Article: “Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections”  Website link: