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Different Responses of Planktonic and Attached Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens to Sanitizer Treatment

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Three commercial sanitizers containing iodophor (I), peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide (PAH), or chlorhexidine gluconate (CG) were evaluated in vitro against planktonic and sessile Bacillus subtilis or Pseudomonas fluorescens cells grown in Standard One Nutrient Broth. Sessile cells were attached to stainless steel or polyurethane test surfaces. Planktonic and attached cells of both bacteria were enumerated by plate counts after sanitizer treatment for 1, 3, or 5 min. Sessile cells were dislodged from test surfaces by shaking them with beads. Cell morphologies were monitored by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Attached B. subtilis and P. fluorescens cells on both surface types were less susceptible to all three sanitizers than their planktonic counterparts. PAH, I, and CG were equally effective against planktonic P. fluorescens cells, which were reduced by 99.999% after 1, 3, and 5 min exposure. PAH was the only sanitizer effective against attached P. fluorescens cells on both surface types; it reduced counts by ≤99.9% after 1, 3, and 5 min exposure. PAH was also the most effective sanitizer against planktonic B. subtilis cells, reducing counts by 99.9% after 1, 3, and 5 min. Sessile B. subtilis cells on both surface types were the least susceptible to all sanitizers; counts were reduced by only 99.5% or less after exposure to PAH for 5 min. SEM revealed that planktonic and attached cells of both bacteria exhibited symptoms of surface roughness, indentations, and shape distortions after treatment with any of the sanitizers.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS 2050, South Africa

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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