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What’s new and notable in bacterial spore killing!

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Setlow, Peter 


Abstract: Spores of many species of the orders Bacillales and Clostridiales can be vectors for food spoilage, human diseases and intoxications, and biological warfare. Many agents are used for spore killing, including moist heat in an autoclave, dry heat at elevated temperatures, UV radiation at 254 and more recently 222 and 400 nm, ionizing radiation of various types, high hydrostatic pressures and a host of chemical decontaminants. An alternative strategy is to trigger spore germination, as germinated spores are much easier to kill than the highly resistant dormant spores—the so called “germinate to eradicate” strategy. Factors important to consider in choosing methods for spore killing include the: (1) cost; (2) killing efficacy and kinetics; (3) ability to decontaminate large areas in buildings or outside; and (4) compatibility of killing regimens with the: (i) presence of people; (ii) food quality; (iii) presence of significant amounts of organic matter; and (iv) minimal damage to equipment in the decontamination zone. This review will summarize research on spore killing and point out some common flaws which can make results from spore killing research questionable.



Review, Bacillus, Spores, Spore killing, Spore resistance

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World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology

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Springer Netherlands