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Disinfection and Sterilization
By
Ihab Samy
Lecturer of Surgical Oncology
NCI – Cairo University
2013
• Sterilization is defined as the process where all
the living microorganisms, including bacterial
spores are killed.
• Sterilization can be achieved by physical,
chemical and physiochemical means.
• Chemicals used as sterilizing agents are called
chemisterilants.
• Disinfection is the process of elimination of most pathogenic
microorganisms (excluding bacterial spores) on inanimate objects.
• Disinfection can be achieved by physical or chemical methods.
• Chemicals used in disinfection are called disinfectants.
• Different disinfectants have different target ranges, not all
disinfectants can kill all microorganisms.
• Some methods of disinfection such as filtration do not kill bacteria,
they separate them out.
• Sterilization is an absolute condition while disinfection is not. The
two are not synonymous.
• Asepsis is the employment of techniques
(such as usage of gloves, air filters, uv rays etc)
to achieve microbe-free environment.
• Antisepsis is the use of chemicals (antiseptics)
to make skin or mucus membranes devoid of
pathogenic microorganisms.
PHYSICAL METHODS OF STERILIZATION
Sunlight:
• The microbicidal activity of sunlight is mainly due to the
presence of ultra violet rays in it.
• It is responsible for spontaneous sterilization in natural
conditions.
• In tropical countries, the sunlight is more effective in killing
germs due to combination of ultraviolet rays and heat.
• By killing bacteria suspended in water, sunlight provides
natural method of disinfection of water bodies such as
tanks and lakes.
• Sunlight is not sporicidal, hence it does not sterilize.
Heat:
• Heat is considered to be most reliable method of
sterilization of articles that can withstand heat.
• Heat acts by oxidative effects as well as
denaturation and coagulation of proteins.
• Those articles that cannot withstand high
temperatures can still be sterilized at lower
temperature by prolonging the duration of
exposure.
Factors affecting sterilization by heat
• Nature of heat: Moist heat is more effective than dry heat
• Temperature and time: temperature and time are inversely
proportional. As temperature increases the time taken decreases.
• Number of microorganisms: More the number of microorganisms,
higher the temperature or longer the duration required.
• Nature of microorganism: Depends on species and strain of
microorganism, sensitivity to heat may vary.
• Spores are highly resistant to heat.
• Type of material: Articles that are heavily contaminated require
higher temperature or prolonged exposure.
• Certain heat sensitive articles must be sterilized at lower
temperature.
• Presence of organic material: Organic materials such as protein,
sugars, oils and fats increase the time required.
DRY HEAT
• Red heat
• Flaming
• Incineration
• Hot air oven
• Infra red rays
Hot air oven
• High temperature (160 C) for duration of one
hour in an electrically heated oven.
• Articles sterilized: Metallic instruments (like
forceps, scalpels, scissors), glasswares (such as
petri-dishes, pipettes,flasks, all-glass syringes),
swabs, oils, grease, petroleum jelly and some
pharmaceutical products.
Advantages:
• It is an effective method of sterilization of heat
stable articles.
• The articles remain dry after sterilization.
• This is the only method of sterilizing oils and
powders.
Disadvantages:
• Since air is poor conductor of heat, hot air has
poor penetration.
• Cotton wool and paper may get slightly charred.
• Glasses may become smoky.
• Takes longer time compared to autoclave.
MOIST HEAT
• At temperature below 100 C: e.g
Pasteurization.
• At temperature 100 C: e.g Boiling and Steam
at 100 C. (not substitutes for sterilization)
• At temperature above 100 C: e.g Autoclave
Autoclave
• At a pressure of 15 lbs inside the autoclave,
the temperature is said to be 121 C. for 15
minutes.
• To destroy the infective agents associated with
spongiform encephalopathies (prions), higher
temperatures or longer times are used; 135 C
or 121oC for at least one hour are
recommended.
• Articles sterilized: Culture media, dressings, certain equipment,
linen etc.
• Precautions:
1-Articles should not be tightly packed,
2-the autoclave must not be overloaded,
3-air discharge must be complete and there should not be any residual
air trapped inside, caps of bottles and flasks should not be tight,
4-4autoclave must not be opened until the pressure has fallen or else
the contents will boil over, articles must be wrapped in paper to
prevent drenching, bottles must not be overfilled.
• Advantage: Very effective way of sterilization, quicker than hot air
oven.
• Disadvantages: Drenching and wetting or articles may occur,
trapped air may reduce the efficacy, takes long time to cool.
RADIATION
• Non-ionizing rays : low energy rays with poor
penetrative power while
• Ionizing rays : high-energy rays with good
penetrative power.
NB:Since radiation does not generate heat, it is
termed "cold sterilization".
FILTRATION
• Filtration does not kill microbes, it separates
them out.
• Membrane filters with pore sizes between 0.2-
0.45 μm are commonly used to remove
particles from solutions that can't be
autoclaved.
• Heat labile liquids such as serum, antibiotic
solutions, sugar solutions, urea solution.
SONIC AND ULTRASONIC VIBRATIONS
• Sound waves of frequency >20,000 cycle/second kills
bacteria and some viruses on exposing for one hour.
• Microwaves are not particularly antimicrobial in
themselves, rather the killing effect of microwaves are
largely due to the heat that they generate.
• High frequency sound waves disrupt cells. They are used to
clean and disinfect instruments as well as to reduce
microbial load.
• This method is not reliable since many viruses and phages
are not affected by these waves.
CHEMICAL METHODS OF DISINFECTION
• Those chemicals that can sterilize are called
chemisterilants. Those chemicals that can be safely applied
over skin and mucus membranes are called antiseptics.
An ideal antiseptic or disinfectant should have following
properties:
• Should have wide spectrum of activity
• Should be able to destroy microbes within practical period
of time
• Should be active in the presence of organic matter
• Should make effective contact and be wettable
• Should be active in any pH
• Should be stable
• Should have long shelf life
• Should be speedy
• Should have high penetrating power
• Should be non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-
irritative or non-corrosive
• Should not have bad odour
• Should not leave non-volatile residue or stain
• Efficacy should not be lost on reasonable
dilution
• Should not be expensive and must be
available easily
Classification of disinfectants
1. Based on consistency
a. Liquid (E.g., Alcohols, Phenols)
b. Gaseous (Formaldehyde vapor, Ethylene
oxide)
2. Based on spectrum of activity
a. High level
b. Intermediate level
c. Low level
3. Based on mechanism of action
a. Action on membrane (E.g., Alcohol,
detergent)
b. Denaturation of cellular proteins (E.g.,
Alcohol, Phenol)
c. Oxidation of essential sulphydryl groups of
enzymes (E.g., H2O2, Halogens)
d. Alkylation of amino-, carboxyl- and hydroxyl
group (E.g., Ethylene Oxide, Formaldehyde)
e. Damage to nucleic acids (Ethylene Oxide,
Formaldehyde)
• ALCOHOLS
• ALDEHYDES
• PHENOL
• HALOGENS
• HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
• ETHYLENE OXIDE (EO)
• BETA-PROPIOLACTONE (BPL)
Thank You

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Disinfection and sterilization

  • 1. Disinfection and Sterilization By Ihab Samy Lecturer of Surgical Oncology NCI – Cairo University 2013
  • 2. • Sterilization is defined as the process where all the living microorganisms, including bacterial spores are killed. • Sterilization can be achieved by physical, chemical and physiochemical means. • Chemicals used as sterilizing agents are called chemisterilants.
  • 3. • Disinfection is the process of elimination of most pathogenic microorganisms (excluding bacterial spores) on inanimate objects. • Disinfection can be achieved by physical or chemical methods. • Chemicals used in disinfection are called disinfectants. • Different disinfectants have different target ranges, not all disinfectants can kill all microorganisms. • Some methods of disinfection such as filtration do not kill bacteria, they separate them out. • Sterilization is an absolute condition while disinfection is not. The two are not synonymous.
  • 4. • Asepsis is the employment of techniques (such as usage of gloves, air filters, uv rays etc) to achieve microbe-free environment. • Antisepsis is the use of chemicals (antiseptics) to make skin or mucus membranes devoid of pathogenic microorganisms.
  • 5.
  • 6. PHYSICAL METHODS OF STERILIZATION Sunlight: • The microbicidal activity of sunlight is mainly due to the presence of ultra violet rays in it. • It is responsible for spontaneous sterilization in natural conditions. • In tropical countries, the sunlight is more effective in killing germs due to combination of ultraviolet rays and heat. • By killing bacteria suspended in water, sunlight provides natural method of disinfection of water bodies such as tanks and lakes. • Sunlight is not sporicidal, hence it does not sterilize.
  • 7. Heat: • Heat is considered to be most reliable method of sterilization of articles that can withstand heat. • Heat acts by oxidative effects as well as denaturation and coagulation of proteins. • Those articles that cannot withstand high temperatures can still be sterilized at lower temperature by prolonging the duration of exposure.
  • 8. Factors affecting sterilization by heat • Nature of heat: Moist heat is more effective than dry heat • Temperature and time: temperature and time are inversely proportional. As temperature increases the time taken decreases. • Number of microorganisms: More the number of microorganisms, higher the temperature or longer the duration required. • Nature of microorganism: Depends on species and strain of microorganism, sensitivity to heat may vary. • Spores are highly resistant to heat. • Type of material: Articles that are heavily contaminated require higher temperature or prolonged exposure. • Certain heat sensitive articles must be sterilized at lower temperature. • Presence of organic material: Organic materials such as protein, sugars, oils and fats increase the time required.
  • 9. DRY HEAT • Red heat • Flaming • Incineration • Hot air oven • Infra red rays
  • 10. Hot air oven • High temperature (160 C) for duration of one hour in an electrically heated oven. • Articles sterilized: Metallic instruments (like forceps, scalpels, scissors), glasswares (such as petri-dishes, pipettes,flasks, all-glass syringes), swabs, oils, grease, petroleum jelly and some pharmaceutical products.
  • 11. Advantages: • It is an effective method of sterilization of heat stable articles. • The articles remain dry after sterilization. • This is the only method of sterilizing oils and powders. Disadvantages: • Since air is poor conductor of heat, hot air has poor penetration. • Cotton wool and paper may get slightly charred. • Glasses may become smoky. • Takes longer time compared to autoclave.
  • 12. MOIST HEAT • At temperature below 100 C: e.g Pasteurization. • At temperature 100 C: e.g Boiling and Steam at 100 C. (not substitutes for sterilization) • At temperature above 100 C: e.g Autoclave
  • 13. Autoclave • At a pressure of 15 lbs inside the autoclave, the temperature is said to be 121 C. for 15 minutes. • To destroy the infective agents associated with spongiform encephalopathies (prions), higher temperatures or longer times are used; 135 C or 121oC for at least one hour are recommended.
  • 14. • Articles sterilized: Culture media, dressings, certain equipment, linen etc. • Precautions: 1-Articles should not be tightly packed, 2-the autoclave must not be overloaded, 3-air discharge must be complete and there should not be any residual air trapped inside, caps of bottles and flasks should not be tight, 4-4autoclave must not be opened until the pressure has fallen or else the contents will boil over, articles must be wrapped in paper to prevent drenching, bottles must not be overfilled. • Advantage: Very effective way of sterilization, quicker than hot air oven. • Disadvantages: Drenching and wetting or articles may occur, trapped air may reduce the efficacy, takes long time to cool.
  • 15.
  • 16. RADIATION • Non-ionizing rays : low energy rays with poor penetrative power while • Ionizing rays : high-energy rays with good penetrative power. NB:Since radiation does not generate heat, it is termed "cold sterilization".
  • 17. FILTRATION • Filtration does not kill microbes, it separates them out. • Membrane filters with pore sizes between 0.2- 0.45 μm are commonly used to remove particles from solutions that can't be autoclaved. • Heat labile liquids such as serum, antibiotic solutions, sugar solutions, urea solution.
  • 18. SONIC AND ULTRASONIC VIBRATIONS • Sound waves of frequency >20,000 cycle/second kills bacteria and some viruses on exposing for one hour. • Microwaves are not particularly antimicrobial in themselves, rather the killing effect of microwaves are largely due to the heat that they generate. • High frequency sound waves disrupt cells. They are used to clean and disinfect instruments as well as to reduce microbial load. • This method is not reliable since many viruses and phages are not affected by these waves.
  • 19. CHEMICAL METHODS OF DISINFECTION • Those chemicals that can sterilize are called chemisterilants. Those chemicals that can be safely applied over skin and mucus membranes are called antiseptics. An ideal antiseptic or disinfectant should have following properties: • Should have wide spectrum of activity • Should be able to destroy microbes within practical period of time • Should be active in the presence of organic matter • Should make effective contact and be wettable • Should be active in any pH • Should be stable
  • 20. • Should have long shelf life • Should be speedy • Should have high penetrating power • Should be non-toxic, non-allergenic, non- irritative or non-corrosive • Should not have bad odour • Should not leave non-volatile residue or stain • Efficacy should not be lost on reasonable dilution • Should not be expensive and must be available easily
  • 21. Classification of disinfectants 1. Based on consistency a. Liquid (E.g., Alcohols, Phenols) b. Gaseous (Formaldehyde vapor, Ethylene oxide) 2. Based on spectrum of activity a. High level b. Intermediate level c. Low level
  • 22. 3. Based on mechanism of action a. Action on membrane (E.g., Alcohol, detergent) b. Denaturation of cellular proteins (E.g., Alcohol, Phenol) c. Oxidation of essential sulphydryl groups of enzymes (E.g., H2O2, Halogens) d. Alkylation of amino-, carboxyl- and hydroxyl group (E.g., Ethylene Oxide, Formaldehyde) e. Damage to nucleic acids (Ethylene Oxide, Formaldehyde)
  • 23. • ALCOHOLS • ALDEHYDES • PHENOL • HALOGENS • HYDROGEN PEROXIDE • ETHYLENE OXIDE (EO) • BETA-PROPIOLACTONE (BPL)