Age of the Microorganism

The effectiveness of a disinfectant also depends upon the age of the microorganism. For example, young bacteria can easily be killed, while old bacteria are resistant. As the bacterium ages, a polysaccharide sheath is developed around the cell wall; this contributes to the resistance against disinfectants. For example, when using 2.0 mg/L of applied chlorine dosage, for bacterial cultures of about 10 days old, it takes 30 min of contact time to produce the same reduction as for young cultures of about one day old dosed with one minute of contact time. In the extreme case are the bacterial spores; they are, indeed, very resistant and many of the chemical disin) fectants normally used have little or no effect on them.

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