Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Identification of bacterial species.

Questions about the identification of certain bacterial species are rising time after time. Paper mills - and their customers - are interested to know if the product, paper or board, contains harmful bacteria like food-poisoning bacteria, or even hazardous ones. Could terrorists inoculate a paper machine with Bacillus anthracis? Could Listeria live in wet end processes? Bird-flu?

Another reason for the question is the safety of working environment. Are high densities of bacteria in the wet end air dangerous?

Fortunately all information of the environmental needs, growth factors and capability to survive dry end treatment (="pasteurization") show that there is no need to worry if those real pathogens could be encountered in paper industry products.

There are still some areas inside paper mill where the identifications are needed, like

* food-poisoning, sporeforming bacteria (most important: Bacillus cereus)
* bacteria causing raw material breakdown (amylolytic ones etc.)
* potential primary attachers, causing biofilm formation (several genus)
* bacteria which can cause health symptoms and diseases(Legionella pneumophila, certain coliform bacteria)

Identification of specified bacteria from wet end population isn't easy task. Mixed population, sample matrix, low number of target organisms, their distribution inside the machine all lead to very challenging task.

I will refer the traditional and novel methods for the detection of specified bacteria in next posts. Coming back...

No comments: