Effects of culture conditions and biofilm formation on the iodine susceptibility of legionella pneumophila
Cargill, Kari Lisa
Sauer, R. L.
McFeters, Gordon A.
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The susceptibility of Legionella pneumophila to iodination was studied with cultures grown in well water, on rich agar media, and attached to stainless-steel surfaces. Legionella pneumophila grown in water cultures in association with other microorganisms were less sensitive to disinfection by chlorine and iodine than were agar-passaged cultures. Differences in sensitivity to disinfection between water-cultured and agar-grown legionellae were determined by comparing C × T values (concentration in milligrams per litre multiplied by time in minutes to achieve 99% decrease in viability)and CM × T values (concentration in molarity). Iodine (1500×) gave a greater difference in CM × T values than did chlorine (68×). Iodine was 50 times more effective than chlorine when used with agar-grown cultures but was only twice as effective when tested against water-grown Legionella cultures. C × T × S values (C × T multiplied by percent survivors), which take into consideration the percent surviving bacteria, were used to compare sensitivities in very resistant populations, such as those in biofilms. Water cultures of legionellae associated with stainless-steel surfaces were 135 times more resistant to iodination than were unattached legionellae, and they were 210 000 times more resistant than were agar-grown cultures. These results indicate that the conditions under which legionellae are grown can dramatically affect their susceptibility to some disinfectants and must be considered when evaluating the efficacy of a disinfecting agent.
Cargill, K.L., R.L. Sauer, and G.A. McFeters, "Effects of culture conditions and biofilm formation on the iodine susceptibility of legionella pneumophila," Canadian Journal of Microbiology 38(5): 423-429.