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J Appl Microbiol. 2016 Apr;120(4):1074-84. doi: 10.1111/jam.13055. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Hot, humid air decontamination of a C-130 aircraft contaminated with spores of two acrystalliferous Bacillus thuringiensis strains, surrogates for Bacillus anthracis.

Author information

1
Naval Surface Warfare Center-Dahlgren Division, CBR Concepts and Experimentation Branch (Z21), Dahlgren, VA, USA.
2
METSS Corporation, Westerville, OH, USA.
3
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

To develop test methods and evaluate survival of Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki cry(-) HD-1 and B. thuringiensis Al Hakam spores after exposure to hot, humid air inside of a C-130 aircraft.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Bacillus thuringiensis spores were either pre-inoculated on 1 × 2 or 2 × 2 cm substrates or aerosolized inside the cargo hold of a C-130 and allowed to dry. Dirty, complex surfaces (10 × 10 cm) swabbed after spore dispersal showed a deposition of 8-10 log10 m(-2) through the entire cargo hold. After hot, humid air decontamination at 75-80°C, 70-90% relative humidity for 7 days, 87 of 98 test swabs covering 0·98 m(2) , showed complete spore inactivation. There was a total of 1·67 log10 live CFU detected in 11 of the test swabs. Spore inactivation in the 98 test swabs was measured at 7·06 log10 m(-2) .

CONCLUSIONS:

Laboratory test methods for hot, humid air decontamination were scaled for a large-scale aircraft field test. The C-130 field test demonstrated that hot, humid air can be successfully used to decontaminate an aircraft.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Transition of a new technology from research and development to acquisition at a Technology Readiness Level 7 is unprecedented.

KEYWORDS:

Bacillus; aircraft; decontamination; hot humid air; spore; surrogate

PMID:
26786717
DOI:
10.1111/jam.13055
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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