The protozoan parasites such as Cryptosporidiumparvum and Giardialamblia have been recognized as a frequent cause of recent waterborne disease outbreaks because of their strong resistance against chlorine disinfection. In this study, ozone and Fe(VI) (i.e., FeO(4)(2-)) were compared in terms of inactivation efficiency for Bacillus subtilis spores which are commonly utilized as an indicator of protozoan pathogens. Both oxidants highly depended on water pH and temperature in the spore inactivation. Since redox potential of Fe(VI) is almost the same as that of ozone, spore inactivation efficiency of Fe(VI) was expected to be similar with that of ozone. However, it was found that ozone was definitely superior over Fe(VI): at pH 7 and 20°C, ozone with the product of concentration×contact time (C¯T) of 10mgL(-1)min inactivate the spores more than 99.9% within 10min, while Fe(VI) with C¯T of 30mgL(-1) min could inactivate 90% spores. The large difference between ozone and Fe(VI) in spore inactivation was attributed mainly to Fe(III) produced from Fe(VI) decomposition at the spore coat layer which might coagulate spores and make it difficult for free Fe(VI) to attack live spores.
Awareness of the disinfection and sterilization policy among hospital staff and their knowledge in basic principles and methods of disinfection and sterilization were studied before and after intervention using a self-administered questionnaire. Survey results showed that awareness (56.2%) before intervention was unsatisfactory. The nurses were more aware of the policy than other groups of medical personnel. Those unaware of the policy perform duties from memory or verbal instructions. A significant increase in awareness to 73.3% was observed after intervention (p < 0.05). Knowledge on methods of decontamination, disinfection and sterilization of equipment varies widely from 28.8% to 90.1%. 23.1% were unaware of the temperature used for sterilization while 72.4% did not know how containers of disinfectant should be refill. Only 14.7% knew the recommended method for washing containers. With education improvement was observed. The average knowledge improved from 44.4% to 57.3%. Our results indicated that continuous in-service education is needed to improve, supplement and update knowledge in this field after basic training. In addition orientation programs for new staff should also be aimed at creating awareness and providing information on guidelines and policies related to their duties.
While there is good epidemiological evidence for foods as vehicles for norovirus transmission, the precise means of spread and its control remain unknown. The feline calicivirus was used as a surrogate for noroviruses to study infectious virus transfer between hands and selected types of foods and environmental surfaces. Assessment of the potential of selected topicals in interrupting such virus transfer was also made. Ten microliters of inoculum of feline calicivirus deposited onto each fingerpad of adult subjects was allowed to air dry and the contaminated area on individual fingerpads was pressed (10 s at a pressure of 0.2 to 0.4 kg/cm2) onto 1-cm-diameter disks of ham, lettuce, or brushed stainless steel. The virus remaining on the donor and that transferred to the recipient surfaces was eluted and plaque assayed. Virus transfer to clean hands from experimentally contaminated disks of ham, lettuce, and stainless steel was also tested. Nearly 46 +/- 20.3, 18 +/- 5.7, and 13 +/- 3.6% of infectious virus was transferred from contaminated fingerpads to ham, lettuce, and metal disks, respectively. In contrast, approximately 6 +/- 1.8, 14 +/- 3.5, and 7 +/- 1.9% virus transfer occurred, respectively, from ham, lettuce, and metal disks to hands. One-way analysis of variance test showed that pretreatment (washing) of the fingerpads either with water or with both topical agent and water significantly (P < 0.05) reduced virus transfer to < or = 0.9%, as compared with < or = 2.3 and < or = 3.4% transfer following treatments with either 75% (vol/vol) ethanol or a commercial hand gel containing 62% ethanol, respectively. Despite wide variations in virus transfer among the targeted items used, intervention agents tested reduced virus transfer significantly (P < 0.05) when compared with that without such treatments (71 +/- 8.9%). These findings should help in a better assessment of the potential for cross-contamination of foods during handling and also assist in developing more effective approaches to foodborne spread of norovirus infections.
This study investigated chlorinated transformation products (TPs) and their parent micropollutants, aromatic pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the urban water bodies of two metropolitan cities. Nine PPCPs and 16 TPs were quantitatively or semi-quantitatively determined using isotope dilution techniques and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. TPs and most PPCPs were effectively removed by conventional wastewater treatments in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Chlorinated parabens and all PPCPs (at concentrations below 1000 ng/L) were present in the waters receiving treated wastewater. By contrast, the waters receiving untreated wastewater contained higher levels of PPCPs (up to 9400 ng/L) and more species of chlorinated TPs including chlorinated parabens, triclosan, diclofenac, and bisphenol A. The very different chemical profiles between the water bodies of the two cities of similar geographical and climatic properties may be attributed to their respective uses of chemicals and policies of wastewater management. No apparent increase in the number of species or abundances of TPs was observed in either the chlorinated wastewater or the seawater rich in halogens. This is the first study to elucidate and compare the profiles of multiple TPs and their parent PPCPs in the water bodies of coastal cities from tropical islands. Our findings suggest that chlorinated derivatives of bisphenol A, diclofenac, triclosan, and parabens in the surface water originate from sources other than wastewater disinfection or marine chlorination. Although further studies are needed to identify the origins, conventional wastewater treatments may protect natural water bodies against contamination by those chlorinated substances.
Disinfectants are generally used to inactivate microorganisms in solutions. The process of inactivation involves the disinfectant in the liquid diffusing towards the bacteria sites and thereafter reacting with bacteria at rates determined by the respective reaction rates. Such processes have demonstrated an initial lag phase followed by an active depletion phase of bacteria. This paper attempts to study the importance of the combined effects of diffusion of the disinfectant through the outer membrane of the bacteria and transport through the associated concentration boundary layers (CBLs) during the initial lag phase. Mathematical equations are developed correlating the initial concentration of the disinfectant with time required for reaching a critical concentration (C*) at the inner side of the membrane of the cell based on diffusion of disinfectant through the outer membranes of the bacteria and the formation of concentration boundary layers on both sides of the membranes. Experimental data of the lag phases of inactivation already available in the literature for inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores with ozone and monochloramine are tested with the equations. The results seem to be in good agreement with the theoretical equations indicating the importance of diffusion process across the outer cell membranes and the resulting CBL's during the lag phase of disinfection.
A questionnaire survey on cross-infection control was conducted among 1371 professionally trained dentists whose names appeared in the Malaysian Government Gazette of 1990. A 73.1 percent response rate was obtained. About 13 percent of the dentists routinely did not wear gloves during treatment of patients as opposed to 54 percent who routinely did. About 83 percent and 52 percent of dentists wore a mask and eyewear or glasses respectively when carrying out dental procedures. About 93 percent of dentists would use a new sterile needle for each patient and about 40 percent would wipe working surfaces with disinfectant after each patient. The practice of sterilizing handpieces was found to be uncommon as opposed to the sterilization of hand instruments. Variations were observed in some of the infection control measures by gender, seniority in service and employment status. More than one-third of the respondents had experienced puncture wounds during the last month prior to the survey.
A closed enteral delivery system consisting of a cardboard tetrapack containing the sterile ready-to-use liquid feed and an independent sterile administration set, has been devised. We found bacterial contamination within 24 hours in this system in patients on ventilatory support in intensive care. This emphasises the need for meticulous care in handling enteral feeding systems to prevent environmental contamination.
Universal access to clean water has been a global ambition over the years. Photocatalytic water disinfection through advanced oxidation processes has been regarded as one of the promising methods for breaking down microbials. The forefront of this research focuses on the application of metal-free photocatalysts for disinfection to prevent secondary pollution. Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3 N4 ) has achieved instant attention as a metal-free and visible-light-responsive photocatalyst for various energy and environmental applications. However, the photocatalytic efficiency of g-C3 N4 is still affected by its rapid charge recombination and sluggish electron-transfer kinetics. In this contribution, two-dimensionally protonated g-C3 N4 was employed as metal-free photocatalyst for water treatment and demonstrated 100 % of Escherichia coli within 4 h under irradiation with a 23 W light bulb. The introduction of protonation can modulate the surface charge of g-C3 N4 ; this enhances its conductivity and provides a "highway" for the delocalization of electrons. This work highlights the potential of conjugated polymers in antibacterial application.
Medical devices are indispensable in the healthcare setting, ranging from diagnostic tools to therapeutic instruments, and even supporting equipment. However, these medical devices may be associated with life-threatening complications when exposed to blood. To date, medical device-related infections have been a major drawback causing high mortality. Device-induced hemolysis, albeit often neglected, results in negative impacts, including thrombotic events. Various strategies have been approached to overcome these issues, but the outcomes are yet to be considered as successful. Recently, superhydrophobic materials or coatings have been brought to attention in various fields. Superhydrophobic surfaces are proposed to be ideal blood-compatible biomaterials attributed to their beneficial characteristics. Reports have substantiated the blood repellence of a superhydrophobic surface, which helps to prevent damage on blood cells upon cell-surface interaction, thereby alleviating subsequent complications. The anti-biofouling effect of superhydrophobic surfaces is also desired in medical devices as it resists the adhesion of organic substances, such as blood cells and microorganisms. In this review, we will focus on the discussion about the potential contribution of superhydrophobic surfaces on enhancing the hemocompatibility of blood-contacting medical devices.
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an important pathogen which has been responsible for many food-borne outbreaks. HAV-excreting food handlers, especially those with poor hygienic practices, can contaminate the foods which they handle. Consumption of such foods without further processing has been known to result in cases of infectious hepatitis. Since quantitative data on virus transfer during contact of hands with foods is not available, we investigated the transfer of HAV from artificially contaminated fingerpads of adult volunteers to pieces of fresh lettuce. Touching the lettuce with artificially contaminated fingerpads for 10 s at a pressure of 0.2 to 0.4 kg/cm(2) resulted in transfer of 9.2% +/- 0.9% of the infectious virus. The pretreatments tested to interrupt virus transfer from contaminated fingerpads included (i) hard-water rinsing and towel drying, (ii) application of a domestic or commercial topical agent followed by water rinsing and towel drying, and (iii) exposure to a hand gel containing 62% ethanol or 75% liquid ethanol without water rinsing or towel drying. When the fingerpads were treated with the topical agents or alcohol before the lettuce was touched, the amount of infectious virus transferred to lettuce was reduced from 9.2% to between 0.3 and 0.6% (depending on the topical agent used), which was a reduction in virus transfer of up to 30-fold. Surprisingly, no virus transfer to lettuce was detected when the fingerpads were rinsed with water alone before the lettuce was touched. However, additional experiments with water rinsing in which smaller volumes of water were used (1 ml instead of 15 ml) showed that the rate of virus transfer to lettuce was 0.3% +/- 0.1%. The variability in virus transfer rates following water rinsing may indicate that the volume of water at least in part influences virus removal from the fingerpads differently, a possibility which should be investigated further. This study provided novel information concerning the rate of virus transfer to foods and a model for investigating the transfer of viral and other food-borne pathogens from contaminated hands to foods, as well as techniques for interrupting such transfer to improve food safety.
Acanthamoeba cysts are highly resistant to contact lens disinfecting solutions. Acanthamoeba cyst wall is partially made of 1,4 β-glucan (i.e., cellulose) and other complex polysaccharides making it a hardy shell that protects the resident amoeba. Here, we hypothesize that targeting the cyst wall structure in addition to antiamoebic compound would improve the efficacy of marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions. Using chlorhexidine as an antiamoebic compound and cellulase enzyme to disrupt cyst wall structure, the findings revealed that combination of both agents abolished viability of Acanthamoeba castellanii cysts and trophozoites. When tested alone, none of the agents nor contact lens disinfecting solutions completely destroyed A. castellanii cysts and trophozoites. The absence of cyst wall-degrading enzymes in marketed contact lens disinfecting solutions render them ineffective against Acanthamoeba cysts. It is concluded that the addition of cyst wall degrading molecules in contact lens disinfecting solutions will enhance their efficacy in decreasing the incidence of Acanthamoeba effectively.
Biofilms are a complex group of microbial cells that adhere to the exopolysaccharide matrix present on the surface of medical devices. Biofilm-associated infections in the medical devices pose a serious problem to the public health and adversely affect the function of the device. Medical implants used in oral and orthopedic surgery are fabricated using alloys such as stainless steel and titanium. The biological behavior, such as osseointegration and its antibacterial activity, essentially depends on both the chemical composition and the morphology of the surface of the device. Surface treatment of medical implants by various physical and chemical techniques are attempted in order to improve their surface properties so as to facilitate bio-integration and prevent bacterial adhesion. The potential source of infection of the surrounding tissue and antimicrobial strategies are from bacteria adherent to or in a biofilm on the implant which should prevent both biofilm formation and tissue colonization. This article provides an overview of bacterial biofilm formation and methods adopted for the inhibition of bacterial adhesion on medical implants.
Acanthamoeba castellanii is the causative agent of blinding keratitis. Though reported in non-contact lens wearers, it is most frequently associated with improper use of contact lens. For contact lens wearers, amoebae attachment to the lens is a critical first step, followed by amoebae binding to the corneal epithelial cells during extended lens wear. Acanthamoeba attachment to surfaces (biological or inert) and migration is an active process and occurs during the trophozoite stage. Thus retaining amoebae in the cyst stage (dormant form) offers an added preventative measure in impeding parasite traversal from the contact lens onto the cornea. Here, we showed that as low as 3% DMSO, abolished A. castellanii excystation. Based on the findings, it is proposed that DMSO should be included in the contact lens disinfectants as an added preventative strategy against contracting Acanthamoeba keratitis.