Author(s): Saito T, Iwase T, Horie J, Morioka T
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Abstract Powdered semiconductor TiO2 has a photocatalytic bactericidal capacity on some kinds of bacteria, but its mechanism still remains unclear. The mode of its photocatalytic bactericidal action on the mutans group of streptococci was investigated. Powdered TiO2 had a bactericidal capacity on all serotypes of mutans streptococci. Streptococcus sobrinus AHT was mainly used for these experiments. The most effective concentration of TiO2 was about 1 mg ml-1 and, at this concentration, 10(5) colony-forming units of S. sobrinus AHT per millilitre were completely killed within 1 min. In order to search for the mechanism of this effect, a high bacterial cell density (10(9) colony-forming units ml-1) was used in the following studies. "Rapid" leakage of potassium ions from the bacteria occurred parallel to the decrease in cell viability. Protein and RNA were "slowly" released from bacterial cells for a reaction time up to 120 min. The pH of the reaction mixture decreased continuously to 4.5 after 120 min. Co-aggregation of S. sobrinus AHT and powdered TiO2 occurred at high bacterial densities (above 10(8) colony-forming units ml-1). Aggregates gradually decomposed with light irradiation. Transmission electron microscopy of S. sobrinus AHT after photocatalytic action for 60-120 min indicated complete destruction of bacterial cells. From these results, bacterial death appears to be caused by a significant disorder in cell membranes and finally the cell walls were decomposed.
This article was published in J Photochem Photobiol B
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology