Navigation Links
Anthrax spores may survive water treatment

Anthrax spores may survive traditional drinking water disinfection methods and can attach themselves to the inside surface of water pipes, suggesting water treatment facilities should be prepared to employ alternate disinfection methods in the unlikely event of the release of anthrax in the water supply. Researchers report their findings today at the 2006 ASM Biodefense Research Meeting.

"The purpose of this study was to determine the fate of anthrax spores in a drinking water system that uses chlorine as a disinfectant. Though researchers have some knowledge of how other waterborne pathogens may survive or die in drinking water systems, little is understood about the fate of anthrax spores in chlorinated water systems," says Jon Calomiris of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Edgewood, Maryland, who conducted the study.

Calomiris investigated the ability of anthrax spores to survive in water with a concentration of 1 milligram of chlorine per liter (typical tap water has a concentration of 1 to 2 milligrams per liter). After 60 minutes in the water, there was no significant decrease in the number of viable spores.

"Under those same conditions, one minute exposure could kill 99.99 percent of other waterborne pathogens that do not exist as spores," says Calomiris.

Higher concentrations of chlorine were much more effective. At 5mg/L (a concentration that might be used by treatment systems during periods when drinking water is turbid) 97 percent of spores were killed after one hour. At 10mg/L (similar to a highly chlorinated swimming pool) 99.99 percent were killed, but the chlorine concentration would be too high for the water to be drinkable.

Calomiris also tested the ability of spores to attach to the inside of pipes, by running contaminated water in a continuous loop through sections of pipe made of either copper, CPVC or galvanized iron (a material no longer used for home plumbing but e xisting in older construction). After 6 hours anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of spores had attached themselves to the surface of the copper and CPVC pipes, 95 percent attached to the iron pipes. When biofilms were present on the interior of copper pipes attachment increased to 80 percent.

"The data seem to suggest that anthrax spores can tolerate water treatment, can attach to pipes or biofilms within the pipes, and could pass through pipe systems to reach the consumer tap," says Calomiris.

In the unlikely event of the release of anthrax spores into the water supply, alternate decontamination protocols (such as exposure to higher concentrations of chlorine or an alternate disinfectant for an extended period of time) may be needed as regular treatment methods may not be effective, he says.


Source:American Society for Microbiology

Related biology news :

1. Study Models Impact Of Anthrax Vaccine
2. Anthrax test, developed by army and CDC, receives FDA approval
3. Anthrax inhibitors identified by Burnham team
4. Anthrax stops body from fighting back, study shows
5. Anthrax inhibitor counteracts toxin, may lead to new therapeutics
6. Anthrax attack posed greater potential threat than thought
7. Anthrax paralyzes immune cells with lethal toxin, UF research shows
8. Scientists seek answers on what activates deadly anthrax spores
9. Pillows - a hot bed of fungal spores
10. Airborne mold spores increase kids risk for multiple allergies
11. Single molecular mark seen as pivotal for genome compaction in spores and sperm
Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/16/2017)... --  Bridge Patient Portal , an enterprise patient ... Systems , an electronic medical record solutions developer ... a partnership to build an interface between the ... products, including Centricity Practice Solution (CPS), Centricity Business ... integrations will allow healthcare delivery networks using GE ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 2017 Janice Kephart , former ... Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues the ... Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: Protecting ... can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling the ... refugee applications are suspended by until at least ...
(Date:4/18/2017)...  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing ... M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing ... Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building ... corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is part of a ... company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also expand its service ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks ... Strategy, will speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October ... trends in the residential home security market and how smart safety and ... Parks ... "The residential ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings ... mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell therapy ... limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment with ... of limbs saved as compared to standard bone ... molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... ... October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s SPEAC® System ... standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using surface electromyography ...
Breaking Biology Technology: