Biotech Articles
Publish Your Research Online
Get Recognition - International Audience

Request for an Author Account   |   Login   |   Submit Article

Bacterial Contamination - Decontamination Measures

BY: Sonali Bhawsar | Category: Biology | Submitted: 2011-01-31 08:44:20
       Author Photo
Article Summary: "Bacteria are potential contaminants of various systems like air, water, soil, food and fuels and responsible for undesirable to hazardous effects on these systems. Contaminant bacteria does not constitute normal flora of air, water and soil..."

Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

Bacterial contamination

The word 'contamination' stands for mixing of unwanted constituent/s into the system; this unwanted entity also does not belong to that system and referred as 'contaminant'. Bacteria are potential contaminants of various systems like air, water, soil, food and fuels and responsible for undesirable to hazardous effects on these systems. Contaminant bacteria are also not the part of normal flora of air, water and soil.

Air: Since childhood, we are aware of airborne diseases like diphtheria, whooping cough, pneumonia, tuberculosis, leprosy and hay fever. The main bacterial agents of airborne diseases are streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci, Legionella, Haemophilus, Klebsiella, Bordetella, Corynebacterium, Bacillus anthracis, tubercule and lepare bacilli. Pathogenic bacteria are introduced into the air by various terrestrial activities like dusting, sneezing, coughing and cleaning. The air of slaughter houses, sewage treatment plants, air conditioners, indoor theaters, railway stations, airports, offices, and ball room or conference halls is always contaminated by pathogenic bacteria. At such places there is guaranteed risk of transmission of bacterial infections. Bacteria thrive in air as droplet nuclei or aerosols. Droplet nuclei and aerosols are the dust particles infested with bacteria; eventually they are carried by winds from place to place and spread bacterial infection.

Water: Water is readily get contaminated via number of sources like domestic and industrial wastes, faecal matter, rain water carrying air bacteria, agricultural soils consisting manure residues, rubbish from different places and polluted river water. Marine water is also contaminated from industrial wastes and polluted rivers. Polluted or contaminated water is unpotable and contain human pathogenic bacteria. Salmonella, Vibrio, Shigella and coliform group of bacteria are causative agents of lethal diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery and gastroenteritis respectively in humans. Presence of coliforms is also used as indicator of water contamination.

Soil: Normal flora of soil gets contaminated by animal and human feces, sewage water and rain water which contain high population of pathogenic bacteria like coliforms, Clostridium, Salmonella and Vibrio. Soil also contains opportunistic plant pathogenic bacteria like Pseudomonas, Agrobacterium and Xanthomonas. Pathogens like clostridia persist in soil for long periods as sporulated bacteria. Soil contaminant bacteria are desiccation resistant and actively compete for soil nutrients with native bacterial population. Soil pathogenic bacteria are causative agents of water and food borne diseases of humans.

Food: Food is contaminated by pathogenic bacteria usually not following the hygienic practices during its preparation. Bacteria are introduced into food material via dirty hands, clothing, soil infested with fecal matter or use of contaminated water in the preparation. Ingestion of contaminated food causes food poisoning, which is indication of food contamination by bacterial pathogenic species of Clostridium, Micrococcus, Listeria, Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Enterobacter, Shigella, Vibrio, Salmonella, Bacillus, Proteus, Campylobacter, Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Bacteria are principle contaminants of foods like bakery, poultry, meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, juices and confectionaries.

Fuels: Since bacteria are capable of growing on any organic matter, they have not spared the fuels like diesel as carbon and energy source. Bacterial growth in diesel is presumed as serious contamination. Bacteria are introduced into diesel while filling of storage tanks and via air moisture. Contaminated diesel affects engine performance and occasional breakdown. Sulfate and iron reducing bacteria are major contaminants of diesel fuel.

Decontamination measures:
Contamination of air is prevented by controlling personal habits. Mouth and nose should be covered when sneezing or coughing. It is the best precautionary measure to avoid formation of infected aerosols and disease transmission. Air conditioners and coolers should be cleaned and serviced, otherwise they provide fertile atmosphere for germination of bacteria. Water contaminating bacteria are removed by coagulation and filtration. They are killed by disinfection (chlorination), ozonation or UV irradiation. Waste water or treated waste, animal waste runoff should be disposed of properly. Sewage treatment plants or livestock should not be situated near water bodies. Water suppliers should be well covered and checked occasionally for presence of contaminants like coliforms. Once contaminated, it is never possible to completely decontaminate the soil. Therefore, like water precautions are taken to prevent soil from adulteration by feces or rainwater runoff. Proper hygienic conditions are maintained while processing or cooking the food. Food is spoiled by bacteria during long time storage even at freezing temperatures; therefore raw food (like meat) should be cleaned and refrigerated for only defined period for subsequent storage. To decontaminate diesel, bactericidal chemical have been used but the posed serious environmental and economical concerns. Filtration of diesel to remove water and bacterial growth has been ecofriendly method of choice.

About Author / Additional Info:

Search this site & forums
Share this article with friends:

Share with Facebook Share with Linkedin Share with Twitter Share with Pinterest Email this article

More Social Bookmarks (Digg etc..)

Comments on this article: (0 comments so far)

Comment By Comment

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 6184

Additional Articles:

•   Synthetic Variety Development

•   Plasma Membrane and Integral Membrane Proteins

•   Anatomy of Y-Chromosome and its Associated Disorders

•   Coined Note on Potential Natural Occurring Herbal Antioxidants

Latest Articles in "Biology" category:
•   Wonderful World of Microorganisms and Their Role in Human Life.

•   Molecular Biology Techniques

•   Process of Reproduction in Bacteria

•   Importance of Microorganisms in the Ecosystem

•   Starting From the Basics: DNA Extraction

•   Agrobacetium-Mediated Transformation Protocol

•   Sucrose Regulating Photosynthesis

•   Nitrogen Fixation: Genes Involved and the Infection Process

•   Functional Genomics: A Tool in Genetic Engineering

•   Plant Tissue Culture and Its Applications

•   Harmful Effects of Mold and Their Prevention

•   Gel Electrophoresis in Molecular Biology

•   Extraction of Phytochemicals

•   Applications of Thin Layer Chromatography

•   Beneficial and Harmful Bacteria

•   Calvin Cycle Regulation and Effect on Photosynthesis

•   How a Baby Develops Inside Mother's Womb: From an Embryo to a Child

•   Apoptosis (or cell suicide) : Process and Types

•   Neurotransmitters and its types

Important Disclaimer: All articles on this website are for general information only and is not a professional or experts advice. We do not own any responsibility for correctness or authenticity of the information presented in this article, or any loss or injury resulting from it. We do not endorse these articles, we are neither affiliated with the authors of these articles nor responsible for their content. Please see our disclaimer section for complete terms.
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape
Copyright © 2010 - Do not copy articles from this website.

Agriculture Bioinformatics Applications Biotech Products Biotech Research
Biology Careers College/Edu DNA Environmental Biotech
Genetics Healthcare Industry News Issues Nanotechnology
Others Stem Cells Press Release Toxicology  

  |   Disclaimer/Privacy/TOS   |   Submission Guidelines   |   Contact Us