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Assessment of Bacillus subtilis Spores as a Possible Bioindicator for Evaluation of the Microbicidal Efficacy of Radiation Processing of Water

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Gamma and electron-beam irradiation of Bacillus subtilis spores suspended in different types of water was studied to evaluate the inactivation of the spores and assess their possible use as a bioindicator for radiation processing. We found that the inactivation proceeded endogenously, being dose-rate-dependent and affected by oxygen. The radiation resistance of the suspended spores was found to be rather high; therefore, B. subtilis spores used as a bioindicator for efficiency of water treatment by radiation under practical conditions might result in the spores being overly conservative surrogates for pathogenic microorganisms. Moreover, the dose-rate dependency impedes the use of the spores as a bioindicator. Thus, B. subtilis spores cannot be recommended as a bioindicator for evaluation of the microbicidal efficacy of ionizing radiation processing of water.

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis spores; bioindicator; electron beam irradiation; gamma irradiation; inactivation; radiation processing

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-07-01

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