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The pulsed light inactivation of veterinary relevant microbial biofilms and the use of a RTPCR assay to detect parasite species within biofilm structures

M Garvey
G Coughlan
N Murphy
N Rowan


The presence of pathogenic organisms namely parasite species and bacteria in biofilms in veterinary settings, is a public health concern in relation to human and animal exposure. Veterinary clinics represent a significant risk factor for the transfer of pathogens from housed animals to humans, especially in cases of wound infection and the shedding of faecal matter. This study aims to provide a means of detecting veterinary relevant parasite species in bacterial biofilms, and to provide a means of disinfecting these biofilms. A real time PCR assay was utilized to detect parasite DNA in Bacillus cereus biofilms on stainless steel and PVC surfaces. Results show that both Cryptosporidium and Giardia attach to biofilms in large numbers (100-1000 oo/cysts) in as little as 72 hours. Pulsed light successfully inactivated all test species (Listeria, Salmonella, Bacillus, Escherichia) in planktonic and biofilm form with an increase in inactivation for every increase in UV dose.

Keywords: Biofilms, Cryptosporidium, Giardia, PCR, Veterinary

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eISSN: 2218-6050
print ISSN: 2226-4485