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A multi-parametric assessment of decontamination protocols for the subglacial Lake Ellsworth probe

A multi-parametric assessment of decontamination protocols for the subglacial Lake Ellsworth probe
A multi-parametric assessment of decontamination protocols for the subglacial Lake Ellsworth probe
Direct measurement and sampling of pristine environments, such as subglacial lakes, without introducing contaminating microorganisms and biomolecules from the surface, represents a significant engineering and microbiological challenge. In this study, we compare methods for decontamination of titanium grade 5 surfaces, the material extensively used to construct a custom-made probe for reaching, measuring and sampling subglacial Lake Ellsworth in West Antarctica. Coupons of titanium were artificially contaminated with Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria and then exposed to a number of decontamination procedures. The most effective sterilants were (i) hydrogen peroxide vapour, and (ii) Biocleanse™, a commercially available, detergent-based biocidal solution. After each decontamination procedure the bacteria were incapable of proliferation, and showed no evidence of metabolic activity based on the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The use of ultraviolet irradiation or ethyl alcohol solution was comparatively ineffective for sterilisation. Hydrogen peroxide vapour and ultraviolet irradiation, which directly damage nucleic acids, were the most effective methods for removing detectable DNA, which was measured using 16S rRNA gene copy number and fluorescence-based total DNA quantification. Our results have not only been used to tailor the Ellsworth probe decontamination process, but also hold value for subsequent engineering projects, where high standards of decontamination are required.
Subglacial, Antarctica, Sterility, Ellsworth, Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour, Decontamination, Ultraviolet Radiation, Planetary Protection
0167-7012
87-93
Magiopoulos, I.
f60aebed-dedd-4dc2-92dc-edd24eccec32
Mcquillan, J.S.
27b1cf86-2d35-45fd-a2ca-d67812177baa
Burd, C.L.
b3e7249e-5958-4860-819d-7ccf68babc4d
Mowlem, M.
6f633ca2-298f-48ee-a025-ce52dd62124f
Tsaloglou, M.-N.
99ab30ba-15da-4d25-86ba-608d127f8369
Magiopoulos, I.
f60aebed-dedd-4dc2-92dc-edd24eccec32
Mcquillan, J.S.
27b1cf86-2d35-45fd-a2ca-d67812177baa
Burd, C.L.
b3e7249e-5958-4860-819d-7ccf68babc4d
Mowlem, M.
6f633ca2-298f-48ee-a025-ce52dd62124f
Tsaloglou, M.-N.
99ab30ba-15da-4d25-86ba-608d127f8369

Magiopoulos, I., Mcquillan, J.S., Burd, C.L., Mowlem, M. and Tsaloglou, M.-N. (2016) A multi-parametric assessment of decontamination protocols for the subglacial Lake Ellsworth probe. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 123, 87-93. (doi:10.1016/j.mimet.2016.02.012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Direct measurement and sampling of pristine environments, such as subglacial lakes, without introducing contaminating microorganisms and biomolecules from the surface, represents a significant engineering and microbiological challenge. In this study, we compare methods for decontamination of titanium grade 5 surfaces, the material extensively used to construct a custom-made probe for reaching, measuring and sampling subglacial Lake Ellsworth in West Antarctica. Coupons of titanium were artificially contaminated with Pseudomonas fluorescens bacteria and then exposed to a number of decontamination procedures. The most effective sterilants were (i) hydrogen peroxide vapour, and (ii) Biocleanse™, a commercially available, detergent-based biocidal solution. After each decontamination procedure the bacteria were incapable of proliferation, and showed no evidence of metabolic activity based on the generation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The use of ultraviolet irradiation or ethyl alcohol solution was comparatively ineffective for sterilisation. Hydrogen peroxide vapour and ultraviolet irradiation, which directly damage nucleic acids, were the most effective methods for removing detectable DNA, which was measured using 16S rRNA gene copy number and fluorescence-based total DNA quantification. Our results have not only been used to tailor the Ellsworth probe decontamination process, but also hold value for subsequent engineering projects, where high standards of decontamination are required.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 13 February 2016
Published date: April 2016
Keywords: Subglacial, Antarctica, Sterility, Ellsworth, Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour, Decontamination, Ultraviolet Radiation, Planetary Protection
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Ocean Technology and Engineering

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 390964
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/390964
ISSN: 0167-7012
PURE UUID: 8bfca68e-d077-4fb0-895c-0be277591824

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 07 Apr 2016 10:01
Last modified: 08 Jan 2022 03:28

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Contributors

Author: I. Magiopoulos
Author: J.S. Mcquillan
Author: C.L. Burd
Author: M. Mowlem
Author: M.-N. Tsaloglou

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