We propose the creation of the virtual Melvin First International Center for Innovative Air Disinfection Technology. The Center, based in Boston, with collaborating universities and agencies in the US and abroad (South Africa, initially), will provide an opportunity to support 3 young investigators committed to global health from a variety of disciplines (engineering, medicine, architecture, public health) for one year of intensive study and mentored research to address the major global health problem of airborne drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) transmission in congregate settings. For this initial year they will focus narrowly on barriers to the implementation of upper room ultraviolet air disinfection in resource-limited settings through a series of very specific, short-term, interrelated projects. Research and research training will be under the guidance of some of the most experienced investigators in the field based at some of the world's premier universities in this specialized discipline. There will be 4 specific interrelated objectives addressing the following implementation barriers: 1) To define adequate and optimal UV dose in the upper room and how it can be assured in the field;2) To optimize application of a recently validated computer assisted design (CAD) program for use in developing countries, including its use to create of a design case-book for field use;3) To design and characterize more efficient, affordable, safe, and sustainable standardized germicidal UV fixtures for manufacture and use in resource- limited settings. This is our top priority objective. Within this one-year grant, we will stimulate production in South Africa of models of sustainable, low cost fixtures and test their compliance with performance specifications;and 4) To define the essential contribution of vertical air mixing and its assurance in the field. Our long-term goals are to use the results of this unique collaboration to facilitate the implementation of upper room air disinfection, including local production of quality fixtures, in many other resource limited settings around the world where MDR-TB transmission is a problem. A similar collaborative approach to the development of other promising, novel, sustainable air disinfection technologies is planned.

Public Health Relevance

The rapid spread of highly drug resistant TB is threatening global control efforts as well as the scale up of anti-retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. Health care workers are especially vulnerable to nosocomial TB transmission. However, the air disinfection innovations resulting from this project will benefit resource-poor and resource-rich countries alike in reducing the spread In the general population of other infections that are predominantly or opportunistically airborne, such as influenza, bird flu, and certain bioterrorism agents.,, including smallpox and anthrax.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Fogarty International Center (FIC)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BDA-N (50))
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Katz, Flora N
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Brigham and Women's Hospital
United States
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Linnes, J C; Rudnick, S N; Hunt, G M et al. (2014) Eggcrate UV: a whole ceiling upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation system for air disinfection in occupied rooms. Indoor Air 24:116-24
Zhu, Shengwei; Srebric, Jelena; Rudnick, Stephen N et al. (2014) Numerical Modeling of Indoor Environment with a Ceiling Fan and an Upper-Room Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation System. Build Environ 72:116-124
Zhu, Shengwei; Srebric, Jelena; Rudnick, Stephen N et al. (2013) Numerical investigation of upper-room UVGI disinfection efficacy in an environmental chamber with a ceiling fan. Photochem Photobiol 89:782-91