Decontamination by Persteril 36 may affect the reliability of DNA-based detection of biological warfare agents—short communication
Persteril 36 is a disinfectant with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Because of its bactericidal, virucidal, fungicidal, and sporicidal effectiveness, it is used as a disinfectant against biological warfare agents in the emergency and army services. In case of an attack with potentially harmful biological agents, a person’s gear or afflicted skin is sprayed with a diluted solution of Persteril 36 as a precaution. Subsequently, the remains of the biological agents are analyzed. However, the question remains concerning whether DNA can be successfully analyzed from Persteril 36-treated dead bacterial cells. Spore-forming Bacillus subtilis and Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Xanthomonas campestris were splattered on a camouflage suit and treated with 2 or 0.2 % Persteril 36. After the disinfectant vaporized, the bacterial DNA was extracted and quantified by real-time PCR. A sufficient amount of DNA was recovered for downstream analysis only in the case of spore-forming B. subtilis treated with a 0.2 % solution of Persteril 36. The bacterial DNA was almost completely destroyed in Gram-negative bacteria or after treatment with the more concentrated solution in B. subtilis. This phenomenon can lead to false-negative results during the identification of harmful microorganisms.
KeywordsPeracetic Acid Chlorine Dioxide Decontamination Procedure Neutralization Step Biological Warfare Agent
This project was supported by the Czech Science Foundation, grant no. 14-36938G, and by the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, grant VF20122015024.
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