Size and UV Germicidal Irradiation Susceptibility of Serratia marcescens when Aerosolized from Different Suspending Media

Ka Man LAI*, Harriet A. Burge, Melvin W. First

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Experimental systems have been built in laboratories worldwide to investigate the influence of various environmental parameters on the efficacy of UV germicidal irradiation (UVGI) for deactivating airborne microorganisms. It is generally recognized that data from different laboratories might vary significantly due to differences in systems and experimental conditions. In this study we looked at the effect of the composition of the suspending medium on the size and UVGI susceptibility of Serratia marcescens in an experimental system built in our laboratory. S. marcescens was suspended in (i) distilled water, (ii) phosphate buffer, (iii) 10% fetal calf serum, (iv) phosphate-buffered saline (saline, 0.8% sodium chloride), and (v) synthetic saliva (phosphate-buffered saline with 10% fetal calf serum). At low humidity (36%), S. marcescens suspended in water-only medium was the most susceptible to UVGI, followed by those in serum-only medium. The count median diameters (CMDs) for culturable particles from water-only and serum-only media were 0.88 and 0. 95 μm, respectively, with the measurements based on their aerodynamic behavior. The bacteria suspended in phosphate buffer, synthetic saliva, and phosphate-buffered saline had similar UVGI susceptibility and CMD at 1.0, 1.4, and 1.5 μm, respectively. At high humidity (68%) the CMD of the particles increased by 6 to 16%, and at the same time UVGI susceptibility decreased, with the magnitude of decrease related to the type of suspending medium. In conclusion, the choice of suspending medium influenced both size and UVGI susceptibility of S. marcescens. These data are valuable for making comparisons and deciding on the use of an appropriate medium for various applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2027
Number of pages7
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume70
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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