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ASTM Biofilm Standard focuses on efficacy of disinfectants.

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November 3, 2011 - ASTM International Committee E35 on Pesticides, Antimicrobials, and Alternative Control Agents has approved its fourth standard on biofilms: ASTM E2799, Test Method for Testing Disinfectant Efficacy Against Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Using the MBEC Assay. One subcommittee member responsible for this standard says it "describes how to grow biofilm in a 96-well microtiter device (MBEC Assay(TM)), then test the efficacy of disinfectants against the established biofilm."

Efficacy of Disinfectants Is Subject of New ASTM Biofilm Standard


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ASTM International
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Press release date: October 27, 2011

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.-ASTM International Committee E35 on Pesticides, Antimicrobials and Alternative Control Agents has approved its fourth standard on biofilms. ASTM E2799, Test Method for Testing Disinfectant Efficacy Against Pseudomonas aeruginosa Biofilm Using the MBEC Assay, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E35.15 on Antimicrobial Agents.

Darla Goeres, Ph.D., assistant research professor, Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, explains that biofilms are cooperative communities of bacteria attached to surfaces and embedded in a slime matrix. Because biofilms are found in diverse environments, from chronic wounds and infected medical devices to oil pipelines and hot tubs, a collection of standards is needed that gives researchers test methods that allow them to grow the most relevant biofilm for their research needs.

According to Goeres, an E35 member, ASTM E2799 describes how to grow biofilm in a 96-well microtiter device (MBEC AssayTM), then test the efficacy of disinfectants against the established biofilm. The design of the MBEC AssayTM, which was developed by Innovotech Inc., allows for testing multiple concentrations of one disinfectant, or multiple disinfectants in a single experiment, which makes it an efficient tool for researchers interested in efficacy testing.

"One of the defining characteristics of biofilm is that it is more tolerant to disinfection," says Goeres. "In practical terms, this means that it will take a high concentration, or longer contact times, to get to the same level of kill against biofilm as compared to individual bacteria in suspension. If the goal is to know how effective a particular disinfectant is against biofilm, then it is critical that the efficacy testing is done using biofilm."

Goeres believes that the MBEC AssayTM will have applications beyond determining the efficacy of disinfectants against biofilms. Future applications could include screening for disinfectants effective against a wide range of bacteria responsible for food poisonings in food processing facilities and the screening of potential new antibiotics and disinfectants with anti-biofilm properties.

"The MBEC AssayTM has also been used as a platform for additional assays including biofilm antibiotic susceptibility tests in both the human and animal health care industry," says Goeres. "Food chain contamination and growing bacterial resistance to antibiotics are two significant problems that mankind is facing. This technology, with its focus on biofilms, offers a new perspective to these ongoing issues." To view images of biofilm grown in the MBEC AssayTM, visit www.innovotech.ca/research_library.php.

To purchase ASTM standards, visit www.astm.org and search by the standard designation number, or contact ASTM Customer Relations (phone: 610-832-9585; service@astm.org). For more information on becoming an ASTM member, visit www.astm.org/JOIN.

ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions.

ASTM Committee E35 Next Meeting: Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 2011, October Committee Week, Tampa, Fla.

Technical Contact: Darla M. Goeres, PhD., Center for Biofilm Engineering, Montana State University, Bozeman, Mont., Phone: 406-994-2440; darla_g@erc.montana.edu; Amin Omar, PhD., Innovotech Inc., Phone: 780-448-0585; info@innovatech.ca

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