Microbial Contamination of Surfaces

  • J. W. Costerton
  • G. G. Gessey


Adherent bacteria predominate in natural water systems and therefore they quickly colonize submerged surfaces in industrial systems in which this water is used for heat exchange. This population is dependent on dissolved organic and inorganic molecules in the flowing water for its nutrititive requirements and on polysaccharide fibers for its continued adhesion. Our developing understanding of this adherent mode of growth, in both natural and industrial systems, offers the immediate prospect of its control by manipulation of nutrients or by interference with the polymerase-polysaccharide mechanism of adhesion used by these bacteria. This control is of paramount importance in the development of more efficient usage of our energy resources and of the development of a better interface between industrial and ecological concerns.


Microbial Contamination Industrial System Cooling Tower Adherent Bacterium Inert Surface 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. Costerton
    • 1
  • G. G. Gessey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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