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Review of Decontamination Techniques for the Inactivation of Bacillus anthracis and Other Spore-Forming Bacteria Associated with Building or Outdoor Materials

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journal contribution
posted on 22.03.2019, 00:00 by Joseph P. Wood, Alden Charles Adrion
Since the intentional release of Bacillus anthracis spores through the U.S. Postal Service in the fall of 2001, research and development related to decontamination for this biological agent have increased substantially. This review synthesizes the advances made relative to B. anthracis spore decontamination science and technology since approximately 2002, referencing the open scientific literature and publicly available, well-documented scientific reports. In the process of conducting this review, scientific knowledge gaps have also been identified. This review focuses primarily on techniques that are commercially available and that could potentially be used in the large-scale decontamination of buildings and other structures, as well as outdoor environments. Since 2002, the body of scientific data related to decontamination and microbial sterilization has grown substantially, especially in terms of quantifying decontamination efficacy as a function of several factors. Specifically, progress has been made in understanding how decontaminant chemistry, the materials the microorganisms are associated with, environmental factors, and microbiological methods quantitatively impact spore inactivation. While advancement has been made in the past 15 years to further the state of the science in the inactivation of bacterial spores in a decontamination scenario, further research is warranted to close the scientific gaps that remain.