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Chapter 23 : Decontamination in the Microbiology Laboratory

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Abstract:

To protect laboratory workers, the general public, and the environment, as well as to avoid release of infectious agents into the environment, laboratories use a combination of work practices and engineering controls, including decontamination strategies for work surfaces, items, and spaces within the laboratory, to mitigate this risk. “Decontamination” is a general term that usually refers to a process that makes an item safe to handle, or a space safe to occupy, and can include processes ranging from simple cleaning with soap and water to sterilization. This chapter discusses the factors necessary for environmentally mediated transmission of infection to occur and methods for decontamination (which includes cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization). Emphasis is placed on the general approaches to decontamination practices and not on the detailed protocols and methods. The principles of sterilization and disinfection are discussed and compared in the context of the decontamination procedures used in laboratories.

Citation: Arduino M. 2017. Decontamination in the Microbiology Laboratory, p 463-473. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch23
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Figures

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Figure 1

The hierarchy of resistance to disinfection ( ). There are some exceptions to this list. spp. are sensitive to high-level disinfectants, but if they grow in water and form biofilms on surfaces, the protected cells can approach the resistance of bacterial spores to the same disinfectant. The same is true for the resistance to glutaraldehyde by some nontuberculous mycobacteria, some fungal ascospores of and , and the pink-pigmented . Prions are also resistant to most liquid chemical germicides and are discussed in the last part of this chapter.

Citation: Arduino M. 2017. Decontamination in the Microbiology Laboratory, p 463-473. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch23
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
Table 1.

Citation: Arduino M. 2017. Decontamination in the Microbiology Laboratory, p 463-473. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch23
Generic image for table
Table 2.

Citation: Arduino M. 2017. Decontamination in the Microbiology Laboratory, p 463-473. In Wooley D, Byers K (ed), Biological Safety: Principles and Practices, Fifth Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555819637.ch23

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