Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 1871–1879 | Cite as

Comparing TiO2 photocatalysis and UV-C radiation for inactivation and mutant formation of Salmonella typhimurium TA102

  • Antonino Fiorentino
  • Luigi RizzoEmail author
  • Hélène Guilloteau
  • Xavier Bellanger
  • Christophe Merlin
Research Article


Salmonellosis is one of the most common causes of foodborne bacterial human disease worldwide, and the emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. typhimurium) was associated to the incidence of invasive salmonellosis. The objective of the present work was to investigate the effects of the TiO2 photocatalysis process in terms of both bacteria inactivation and the emergence of mutants, on S. typhimurium TA102 water suspensions. The TiO2 photocatalysis was compared with a conventional disinfection process such as UV-C radiation. In spite of the faster bacterial inactivation obtained in UV-C disinfection experiments (45, 15, and 10 min for total inactivation for initial cell density 109, 108, and 107 CFU mL−1, respectively), photocatalytic disinfection (60, 30, and 15 min) was more energy efficient because of a lower energy requirement (2–20 mWs cm−2) compared to the UV-C disinfection process (5–30 mWs cm−2). During the photocatalytic experiments, the mutation frequency increased up to 1648-fold compared to background level for a 108 CFU mL−1 initial bacterial density, and mutants were inactivated after 1–10-min treatment, depending on initial bacterial cell density. In UV-C disinfection experiments, the mutation frequency increased up to 2181-fold for a 108 CFU mL−1 initial bacterial cell density, and UV-C doses in the range of 0.5–4.8 mWs cm−2 were necessary to decrease mutation frequency. In conclusion, both disinfection processes were effective in the inactivation of S. typhimurium cells, and mutants released into the environment can be avoided if cells are effectively inactivated.


Advanced oxidation processes Ames test Mutagenicity Salmonella typhimurium Water disinfection 



The support of University of Salerno through FARB2012 (Trattamento avanzato di acque reflue urbane mediante fotocatalisi: effetto sui batteri resistenti agli antibiotici) project funding is acknowledged. The authors would like also to acknowledge the financial support provided by COST-European Cooperation in Science and Technology, to the COST Action “TD0803: Detecting evolutionary hotspots of antibiotic resistances in Europe (DARE)” and COST Action “ES1403: New and emerging challenges and opportunities in wastewater reuse (NEREUS).” CM wishes to thank the “Zone Atelier Moselle” (ZAM) for supporting his research on treatment processes and their effects.


The content of this article is the authors’ responsibility and neither COST nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use, which might be made of the information contained in it.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_7981_MOESM1_ESM.docx (552 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 552 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of SalernoFiscianoItaly
  2. 2.CNRS, Laboratoire de Chimie Physique et Microbiologie pour l’Environnement (LCPME)UMR 7564, Institut Jean BarriolVandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance
  3. 3.Université de LorraineLCPME, UMR 7564Vandoeuvre-lès-NancyFrance

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