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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Chemical resistance of the gram-negative bacteria to different sanitizers in a water purification system

Priscila G Mazzola, Alzira MS Martins and Thereza CV Penna*

Author Affiliations

Department of Biochemical and Pharmaceutical Technology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Avda. Professor Lineu Prestes, 580, Bloco 16, 05508–900, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2006, 6:131  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-6-131

Published: 16 August 2006

Abstract

Background

Purified water for pharmaceutical purposes must be free of microbial contamination and pyrogens. Even with the additional sanitary and disinfecting treatments applied to the system (sequential operational stages), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas alcaligenes, Pseudomonas picketti, Flavobacterium aureum, Acinetobacter lowffi and Pseudomonas diminuta were isolated and identified from a thirteen-stage purification system. To evaluate the efficacy of the chemical agents used in the disinfecting process along with those used to adjust chemical characteristics of the system, over the identified bacteria, the kinetic parameter of killing time (D-value) necessary to inactivate 90% of the initial bioburden (decimal reduction time) was experimentally determined.

Methods

Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas alcaligenes, Pseudomonas picketti, Flavobacterium aureum, Acinetobacter lowffi and Pseudomonas diminuta were called in house (wild) bacteria. Pseudomonas diminuta ATCC 11568, Pseudomonas alcaligenes INCQS , Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442, Pseudomonas fluorescens ATCC 3178, Pseudomonas picketti ATCC 5031, Bacillus subtilis ATCC 937 and Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 were used as 'standard' bacteria to evaluate resistance at 25°C against either 0.5% citric acid, 0.5% hydrochloric acid, 70% ethanol, 0.5% sodium bisulfite, 0.4% sodium hydroxide, 0.5% sodium hypochlorite, or a mixture of 2.2% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and 0.45% peracetic acid.

Results

The efficacy of the sanitizers varied with concentration and contact time to reduce decimal logarithmic (log10) population (n cycles). To kill 90% of the initial population (or one log10 cycle), the necessary time (D-value) was for P. aeruginosa into: (i) 0.5% citric acid, D = 3.8 min; (ii) 0.5% hydrochloric acid, D = 6.9 min; (iii) 70% ethanol, D = 9.7 min; (iv) 0.5% sodium bisulfite, D = 5.3 min; (v) 0.4% sodium hydroxide, D = 14.2 min; (vi) 0.5% sodium hypochlorite, D = 7.9 min; (vii) mixture of hydrogen peroxide (2.2%) plus peracetic acid (0.45%), D = 5.5 min.

Conclusion

The contact time of 180 min of the system with the mixture of H2O2+ peracetic acid, a total theoretical reduction of 6 log10 cycles was attained in the water purified storage tank and distribution loop. The contact time between the water purification system (WPS) and the sanitary agents should be reviewed to reach sufficient bioburden reduction (over 6 log10).