A trial at the Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix evaluated the effect of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) of the air on the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) in kittens in a nursery. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UVGI can kill or inactivate viral, bacterial, and fungal species.
Kittens ages 4 to 8 weeks old that were admitted to the nursery in 2016 and 2018 were included in the study. The incidence of URIs was compared between 2016 (no UVGI systems in place) and 2018 (two newly installed UVGI systems used). Researchers noted a significant decrease in URIs (87.1%), when the UVGI systems were used.
This suggests that airborne transmission of feline respiratory pathogens may be more important than previously thought. UVGI systems may be an effective adjunct to standard infection protocols in reducing the transmission of respiratory pathogens among kittens in shelters and nurseries. Additional studies are needed.
Jaynes, Robyn A., et al., “Effect of ultraviolet germicidal irradiation of the air on the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections in kittens in a nursery,” JAVMA,