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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Diet, Inflammation and Prevention of Chronic Disease

Location: Immunity and Disease Prevention Research Unit

Title: Influence of reactive oxygen species on the sterilization of microbes

Authors
item Uhm, Han -
item Choi, Eun -
item Cho, Guang -
item Hwang, Daniel

Submitted to: Current Applied Physics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 29, 2013
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Citation: Uhm, H.S., Choi, E.H., Cho, G.S., Hwang, D.H. 2013. Influence of reactive oxygen species on the sterilization of microbes. Current Applied Physics. 13:S30-S35.

Interpretive Summary: Microbes were sterilized by acidic ozone (ROS) but mammalian cells were resistant to acidic ozone probably because mammalian cells have elaborated anti-oxidant enzyme systems. The results suggest potential application of acidic ozone for decontamination of microbes while minimizing the harmful effects of acidic ozone to mammalian species.

Technical Abstract: The influence of reactive oxygen species on living cells, including various microbes, is discussed. A sterilization experiment with bacterial endospores reveals that an argoneoxygen plasma jet very effectively kills endospores of Bacillus atrophaeus (ATCC 9372), thereby indicating that oxygen radicals are the key element of sterilization. Ozone in acidic water also kills endospores of B. atrophaeus very effectively, demonstrating the capability of cleaning a large surface area contaminated by toxic biological agents. The viable microbe numbers after the contact with acidic ozone water directly correlate with increase in the ozone decay time in water after lowering the pH value of water from pH = 7 to 4 indicating that acidic ozone water is an effective means of sterilizing microbes. However, advanced cells such as fertilized eggs were not greatly influenced by the acidic ozone water. Also, both human and canine cells after treatment with the acidic ozone water prospered without showing signs of stress due to ozone in acidic water. This study suggests that antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase can be developed in the advanced cells to protect themselves from attacks by reactive oxygen species. Meanwhile, the advanced cells utilize oxygen by certain enzymes, proliferating life on earth.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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