Short Communication

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 97, Issue 1, pp 91-97

Inactivation and injury of Escherichia coli in a copper water storage vessel: effects of temperature and pH

  • Riti SharanAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Panjab UniversityCentre for Plant & Water Science, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, CQ University
  • , Sanjay ChhibberAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Panjab University
  • , Savita AttriAffiliated withAdvanced Paediatric Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research
  • , Robert H. ReedAffiliated withCentre for Plant & Water Science, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, CQ University Email author 

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Abstract

Copper has been used as a disinfectant since ancient times and recent research has demonstrated that antimicrobial copper surfaces may have practical applications in healthcare and related areas. The present study was carried out to establish the effects of temperature and pH on inactivation and sub-lethal injury of Escherichia coli in water stored in a copper vessel, to determine the operational limits of the process in terms of these variables. To investigate the effects of temperature, a bacterial suspension at pH 7.0 was stored for up to 48 h in copper vessels at 5, 15, 25 and 35°C. For pH, a bacterial suspension was stored at 30°C for up to 48 h in copper vessels at pH 6.0, 7.0, 8.0 and 9.0. Both temperature and pH had substantial effects on inactivation and injury, with the fastest inactivation observed at elevated temperature and at pH values furthest from neutrality, while the greatest amount of sub-lethal injury, manifest as sensitivity to conventional aerobic enumeration, was observed at a temperature of 35°C. These findings have important implications for the practical application of copper-based water disinfection methods, in terms of their likely efficacy under environmental conditions.

Keywords

Copper Water storage Disinfection Reactive oxygen species (ROS) Sub-lethal stress