Steriwave Nasal Decolonization

Broad Spectrum antimicrobial technology to reduce infections in minutes.

Steriwave uses Photodisinfection to deliver fast, broad spectrum microbial kill in minutes

In short, photodisinfection destroys bacteria, viruses and fungus without harming human cells or causing antimicrobial resistance.

Ondine is the global leader in antimicrobial photodisinfection (aPDT) therapies and has successfully created a technology platform that destroys bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungi and associated virulence factors. Photodisinfection causes cell destruction through oxidative disruption of the microbial cell membrane. Steriwaves patented technology works in seconds to destroy microbes and reduce inflammation without harming human tissue.

Application of Steriwave Technology to Reduce Infections in Hospitals

Unlike antibiotics, which require hours to days to exert their effect, photodisinfection destroys microbes immediately upon light activation. Bacteria are unable to adapt to this treatment and thus no resistance formation is evident.

Broad spectrum applications

  • Kills all pathogens with no resistance formation and produces potent anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Provides significant time and cost savings to healthcare system.
  • Safe, fast and painless treatment for patients; no complicated compliance requirements.
  • Simple clinical adoption and low impact to healthcare workflows.

Dr. Richard Rusk

Dr. Richard Rusk

Clinical Physician

Dr. Rusk started his training in South Africa as a veterinarian at the University of Pretoria.  After graduation, he came to rural Canada for an adventure and has been here ever since.  He lived in rural Alberta and Manitoba for 8 years practicing as a cattle veterinarian before moving to Winnipeg to do his medical degree.

Dr. Rusk trained in Preventative and Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba for medical school and residency.  He completed the Public Health and Preventative Medicine residency, with a focus on primary and secondary prevention of infectious and chronic diseases.

Dr Rusk has worked in Concordia Emergency Department, community family practice and with the Ministry of Health focusing on developing preventative programs and addressing the emergence of infectious diseases.  He has also been instrumental in advancing the One Wellness framework and concept that focuses on the wellness of humans and animals and takes into consideration the health of the environment.

He is very passionate about his career which he demonstrates by sharing his knowledge and expertise by teaching medical students and residents on the benefits of focusing upstream with prevention before disease. He too believes in a multidisciplinary approach and collaborates with physiotherapists, athletic therapists, kinesiologists and teaches continuing education courses in Manitoba and Canada.

Dr. Rusk strives to provide and expand Preventative Medicine in Manitoba. He believes that patients can prevent many conditions through careful consideration to their nutritional and mental diet, through participating in physical and social activities, and thus preventing disease and promoting wellbeing. Through the multi-disciplinary team of Pure Wellness, we have a unique opportunity to improve each and everyone that participates in care from this team.

In his spare time, he has competed for Canada in the Age Group World Triathlon championships, has bicycled to Everest base camp and has run the Hypothermic Half Marathon as only a true Manitoban could.


Community and Family Preventative Medicine Physician
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc)
Medical Doctor (MD)
Certificant of the College of Family Physicians (CCFP)
Diploma of American Board of Preventative Medicine (Dip ABPM)
Masters of Public Health (MPH)
Clinical Physician

Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection

“We are excited to bring this innovative treatment to the attention of our clients. Keeping clients healthy is at the forefont of the Pure Wellness mission and is reflected by our investment in preventative strategies to achieve this goal.

Through pushing boundaries, we hope to maintain the health of our community during this pandemic by adding another tool to the typical public health toolbox.

Steriwave has scientific evidence of rapidly and effectively neutralizing pathogens in the nasal passageways. With a reduced viral or bacterial burden we see less risk of disease. In today’s circumstances, that is important.”


What is photodisinfection?

Photodisinfection is a form of photodynamic therapy (PDT) that involves the application of a light-sensitive compound (photosensitizer) followed by a specific wavelength of light that excites the photosensitizer, causing it to create singlet oxygen molecules. These oxygen molecules rapidly destroy pathogenic microorganisms including Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi. Unlike traditional antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals, microbes are unable to develop resistance to this treatment.

Who should receive Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection?

Approximately 30% of general population has some strain of Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) as well as many other organisms in their nose. Individuals at higher risk of infection, such as those who are undergoing surgery, immunocompromised, elderly, and those at higher risk of exposure to infection pathogens or working in an environment where transmission can happen easily can all benefit from Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection. For example: 

  • Workers in essential industries (i.e. food processing)
  • Healthcare professionals
  • First responders
  • Professional athletes
  • Nursing home residents and staff
  • and many others
Who should NOT receive Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection?

Individuals allergic to methylene blue or chlorohexidine, or who have nasal anatomical defects which prevent placement of the nasal light tips should not receive Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection. 

Is Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection safe?

Yes. Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection is minimally invasive and has been used in Canadian hospitals over the past decade without any serious side effects. Over 80,000 patients have been treated.

Is Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection Health Canada Approved?

Yes, Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection System is approved by Health Canada for reduction of nasal pathogens.

What are the Health Canada approved indications for use?

Steriwave Nasal Photodisifection is Health Candada approved for decolonization of potentially pathogenic bacteria, including drug-resistant organisms such as MRSA and other bacteria, viruses, and fungi. 

Is a physician's order or prescription required for Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment?

A clinician’s order or standing protocol is required before Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment can be administered. 

Does Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection replace other infection control measures?

Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection is not intended to replace currently practiced infection control or decolonization procedures. The treatment is designed to be used in conjunction with other measures, including but not limited to, hand washing, disinfectant body wash/wipes, personal protective equipment (PPE), physical distancing, etc.

Why disinfect the nose?

The nose is a primary source of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which can cause serious infections and unknowingly be transmitted to others. Decolonization is the process of eliminating or reducting microbes from surfaces of the body. Decolonization of the nose and skin has been shown to reduce the risk that patients will develp an infection by as much as 50% or more for certain high-risk populations. 

How long does a treatment take?

Most operators can gather patient consent, administer Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment, discard used consumables, clean the device, and be ready for the next patient in 5-7 minutes. 

Can microbes develop resistance to Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection?

Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection has an entirely different mechanism of action than conventional antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals. It is powerful, immediate, and highly localized. Numerous studies involving repeated exposure of microbes to photodisinfection and then retesting the susceptibility of survivors have provided no evidence that resistance development occurs. 

What are the potential side effects of Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection?

Most people do not experience any side effects. Side effects are minor and temprorary and can include:

  • Slight blue coloration from the blue liquid at nostril-opening (can be removed using standard alcohol swab)
  • Increase in sense of smell
  • Noticing a slight metallic scent
  • Mild throat irritation for a few minutes after treatment from blue liquid that may run down the back of the throat
  • Slight nasal warmth from the red light

No long-term adverse effects have ever been noted from Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection in over 80,000 treatments in the past 8-10 years. No fungal or bacterial overgrowth, damage to the lining of the nose, damage to hair follicles, or changes in normal bacteria counts have been noted. In prior deployments, photodisinfection has been applied weekly in sensitive tissues without any significant side effects. 

Can patients have a reaction to the Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection Treatment?

The active ingredients in the photosensitizer formulation are methylene blue and chlorohexidine gluconate. Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment should not be administered to patients with known allergies to these substances. Due to the low concentration in the formulation, an allergic reaction is very unlikely. However, should a reaction occur, it is likely to be mild and time limited. Contact our medical advisor if a reaction occurs.

Can the Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection System's light source harm a patient's eyes?

No. Light from the Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection System is diffused by the nasal light illuminator tips and will not harm an individual’s eyes unless the tips make physical contact with the eye itself. 

Can Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection be administered outside of hospitals ?

Yes,  Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection can be deployed ouside of the hospitals with medical supervision. 

Does insurance reimburse for Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment in Canada for non-employees?

Individuals should first check with their benefit provider to determine if Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment is a covered expense. Your benefit provider may also offer a health spending account that covers Steriwave Nasal Photodisinfection treatment. If not covered, the personal expense for treatment may be claimed as a deductible medical expense.