[Aerosol disinfection of bacterial spores]

U Theilen, F J Wilsberg, R Böhm, D Strauch
Zentralblatt Für Bakteriologie, Mikrobiologie und Hygiene. Serie B, Umwelthygiene, Krankenhaushygiene, Arbeitshygiene, Präventive Medizin 1987, 184 (3): 229-52
The present investigations are divided into two parts. First it is tested which commercial disinfectants are efficient in aerosol disinfection of bacterial spores. This part is carried out in an aerosol chamber with airborne spores (laboratory experiments). The best results are obtained with peracetic acid, hydrogen peroxide and formaldehyde are effective with some restrictions. With these disinfectants it is tested in the second part if the aerosol disinfecting-method is capable for disinfecting rooms with electronic equipment. This part is carried out in a vessel under open air conditions (field experiments). Bacterial spores dried on germ carriers of limewood, aluminium and rusty iron are exposed to disinfectant aerosols under those temperature and relative humidity conditions which are representative for the four seasons in Germany. In these investigations there are also included germ carriers with spores, that have been lyophilized without any protective substances respectively with Bentonite, Mixtura desiccans and Silicagel + Serum as protective substances. To check the corrosive effect of disinfectant aerosols electronic pocket calculators and pocket transistor receivers have been exposed to the aerosols. The best results are obtained with formaldehyde at temperatures above 10 degrees C and relative humidities within 65% to 95%. At temperatures and relative humidity conditions outside of this optimal range the effectiveness of formaldehyde tends to zero. Hydrogen peroxide is capable for disinfecting spores on germ carriers of limewood and aluminium at all temperature and relative humidity conditions; on germ carriers of rusty iron the effectiveness is reduced strongly. Same results could be obtained with peracetic acid respectively a mixture of peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. With these disinfectants a decontamination of rusty iron surfaces is impossible too except the germ concentration on the surface is below 10(4) CFU/cm2. As to the protective substances used in the lyophilization process Bentonite and Mixtura desiccans cause hardly any change in the disinfectant resistance of bacterial spores. Silicagel + Serum in comparison to that protects the imbedded spores that far, that no disinfection of these germ carriers was achieved with the oxidizing agents. As about 15 disinfection runs with each disinfectant did not cause permanent damages to the pocket calculators and transistor receivers it can be emphasized as result of these investigations that aerosol disinfection is an effective method in disinfecting rooms with electronic equipment under middle European climate conditions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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