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J Gen Appl Microbiol. 2002 Aug;48(4):193-9.

Effects of ozone treatment on cell growth and ultrastructural changes in bacteria.

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Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok 10110, Thailand.


Ozone appeared to inhibit growth and caused the death of gram negative and gram positive tested bacteria: Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp., Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus subtilis. Bacterial cultures at 10(3), 10(4), 10(5), 10(6), and 10(7) cfu/ml dilution were exposed to 0.167/mg/min/L of ozone at different time intervals (0, 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150 min). Cell viability was observed in all types of tested bacteria at 10(3), 10(4), 10(3) cfu/ml within 30 min after ozone exposure. However, cell inactivation was not significantly observed at concentrations of 10(6), 10(7) cfu/ml even after an exposure of 150 min. Ultrastructural changes of treated bacteria showed deformation, rough damage and surface destruction revealed by scanning electron microscopy. Some bacterial cells showed collapsed and shrunken patterns within 60 min and severe rupture and cellular lysis after 90 min of ozone treatment. This study supports the proposed mechanism of the bacteria inactivation by ozone that caused cell membrane destruction and finally lysis reaction. Thus, the precaution of using ozone as a biocide should be used to address appropriate concentrations of bacterial contamination in water.

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