Author(s): Da Silva SM, Filliben JJ, Morrow JB
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Abstract The need for the precise and reliable collection of potential biothreat contaminants has motivated research in developing a better understanding of the variability in biological surface sampling methods. In this context, the objective of this work was to determine parameters affecting the efficiency of extracting Bacillus anthracis Sterne spores from commonly used wipe sampling materials and to describe performance using the interfacial energy concept. In addition, surface thermodynamics was applied to understand and predict surface sampling performance. Wipe materials were directly inoculated with known concentrations of B. anthracis spores and placed into extraction solutions, followed by sonication or vortexing. Experimental factors investigated included wipe material (polyester, cotton, and polyester-rayon), extraction solution (sterile deionized water [H(2)O], deionized water with 0.04\% Tween 80 [H(2)O-T], phosphate-buffered saline [PBS], and PBS with 0.04\% Tween 80 [PBST]), and physical dissociation method (vortexing or sonication). The most efficient extraction from wipes was observed for solutions containing the nonionic surfactant Tween 80. The increase in extraction efficiency due to surfactant addition was attributed to an attractive interfacial energy between Tween 80 and the centrifuge tube wall, which prevented spore adhesion. Extraction solution significantly impacted the extraction efficiency, as determined by statistical analysis (P < 0.05). Moreover, the extraction solution was the most important factor in extraction performance, followed by the wipe material. Polyester-rayon was the most efficient wipe material for releasing spores into solution by rank; however, no statistically significant difference between polyester-rayon and cotton was observed (P > 0.05). Vortexing provided higher spore recovery in H(2)O and H(2)O-T than sonication, when all three wipe materials and the reference control were considered (P < 0.05).
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Medical Safety & Global Health