Probst, Alexander and Facius, Rainer and Wirth, Reinhard and Moissl-Eichinger, Christine (2010) Validation of a Nylon-Flocked-Swab Protocol for Efficient Recovery of Bacterial Spores from Smooth and Rough Surfaces. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 76 (15), pp. 5148-5158. American Society for Microbiology. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.00399-10.
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In order to meet planetary-protection requirements, culturable bacterial spore loads are measured representatively for the total microbial contamination of spacecraft. However, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) cotton swab protocols for spore load determination have not changed for decades. To determine whether a more efficient alternative was available, a novel swab was evaluated for recovery of different Bacillus atrophaeus spore concentrations on stainless steel and other surfaces. Two protocols for the nylon-flocked swab (NFS) were validated and compared to the present NASA standard protocol. The results indicate that the novel swab protocols recover 3- to 4-fold more (45.4% and 49.0% recovery efficiency) B. atrophaeus spores than the NASA standard method (13.2%). Moreover, the nylon-flocked-swab protocols were superior in recovery efficiency for spores of seven different Bacillus species, including Bacillus anthracis Sterne (recovery efficiency, 20%). The recovery efficiencies for B. atrophaeus spores from different surfaces showed a variation from 5.9 to 62.0%, depending on the roughness of the surface analyzed. Direct inoculation of the swab resulted in a recovery rate of about 80%, consistent with the results of scanning electron micrographs that allowed detailed comparisons of the two swab types. The results of this investigation will significantly contribute to the cleanliness control of future life detection missions and will provide significant improvement in detection of B. anthracis contamination for law enforcement and security efforts.
|Title:||Validation of a Nylon-Flocked-Swab Protocol for Efficient Recovery of Bacterial Spores from Smooth and Rough Surfaces|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|In ISI Web of Science:||Yes|
|Page Range:||pp. 5148-5158|
|Publisher:||American Society for Microbiology|
|Keywords:||Planetary Protection, Bacterial Spores, Nylon-Flocked-Swab Protocol|
|HGF - Research field:||Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)|
|HGF - Program:||Space (old)|
|HGF - Program Themes:||W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen (old)|
|DLR - Research area:||Space|
|DLR - Program:||W FR - Forschung unter Weltraumbedingungen|
|DLR - Research theme (Project):||W - Vorhaben Strahlenbiologie (old)|
|Institutes and Institutions:||Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Radiation Biology|
|Deposited By:||Kerstin Kopp|
|Deposited On:||16 Sep 2010 14:47|
|Last Modified:||04 Apr 2013 16:22|
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