As Ireland prepares for a new outbreak of bed mould, researchers have identified a new way to protect people from the problem.
The research, led by University College Cork’s College of Tropical Medicine and Tropical Medicine, shows the use of a new type of mould control material to help fight bed mould can be as effective as treating the problem with other products.
Professor David Deane said the material has been used to treat beds in the past, but the research showed it could be used in an entirely new way.
“We think this is the first time this type of material has ever been used for mould control in bed mould control,” he said.
“This material has properties which can help control the spread of the infection, including a very high content of aluminium, and we have been able to produce a small batch for use in bed molds.”
Professor Deane, who is also the head of the Department of Biotechnology, said this type and range of material was a first step towards a better bed mold control system.
“The material itself, we believe it is a very strong material, but it has the ability to withstand the heat, the cold, and also the humidity,” he explained.
“In the future we would like to be able to take the product and put it into a mould in which it can be treated with another kind of product, such as a disinfectant.”
Prof Deane explained that the material can be made in a range of different materials and has been available for a number of years.
“It is a bit like an industrial grade material,” he added.
“There are several different kinds of moulds that can cause it.”
For example, there are some that cause a lot of pain in bed, and then there are other kinds of mold that cause mild to moderate symptoms.
“But these moulds can all be controlled with a product, and with the use this material we have developed a new product which can be used to combat these mould-causing agents.”
Dr Gethin MacIntyre, the University College of Cork’s Head of Infectious Diseases and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, said there are many ways to tackle the bed mite problem.
“Moulds can be controlled by spraying, cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting, or by taking out mouldy surfaces with detergent and cleaning with soap and water, but none of these methods are completely effective,” he stated.
“If you are not doing anything about the bed, you are getting mould, and it can get into the walls, furniture and bedding.”
Prof MacIntire said there were some ways to control the problem in bed mold control, but more research was needed.
“I think the research done by the University of Cork is important, and I think it will hopefully help to inform our own research and future research on this,” he concluded.