Hygiene and disinfection—future prospects

Hygiene and disinfection—future prospects

International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 51 (2003) 231 www.elsevier.com/locate/ibiod Editorial Hygiene and disinfection—future prospects The...

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International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation 51 (2003) 231



Hygiene and disinfection—future prospects The 12 papers contained in this special issue of International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation represent some of the latest ideas on the impact of hygiene and disinfection in every day life, the physiological phenomena of micro-organisms in relation to disinfectants and bio(lms, the e)cacy assessment of disinfectants and the role and impact of national and international legislation. The papers were presented in the Second International Symposium “Disinfection and Hygiene—Future Prospects” at the Institute Consumer Technology and Product Use of the Wageningen Agricultural University on the 18th and 19th October, 2001 in Wageningen, The Netherlands. The symposium was organised under the auspices of the International Biodeterioration Society. In daily life the practice of hygiene concentrates on manipulating and controlling the environment for the bene(t of human health. In household and institutional practice, hygiene is dedicated to the control of micro-organisms in the inner environment. In households the quality of hygiene has developed to an adequate level due to a better understanding, education, public health regulations and due to appropriate domestic processes. This quality of hygiene is, however, stressed by side e9ects of a number of environmental measures and demographic and social developments, as is shown by Terpstra. Even with the present level of hygiene in western countries, a substantial number of intestinal infections occur. Holah focuses in his paper on the role and activities of the Technical Committee 216 of the European Committee for standardisation. This committee is harmonising test methods for the assessment of the e)cacy of chemical disinfection and antiseptics. The procedures show the ultimate target of the committee to assess the e)cacy in in-use conditions. Gilbert, Meyer, Ludensky and Jessen elaborate the hygienic consequences of bio(lms. In this scope, Gilbert presents the present insights in the formation of bio(lms and the susceptibility and response mechanisms of microorganisms in the di9erent bio(lm layers. Approaches of prevention and removal of bio(lms are shown by Meyer. A novel approach is bio(lm inhibition by supplementation of systems with nutrients to inhibit attachment. The issues of bio(lms in meat processing plants and industrial applications in general are highlighted by

Jessen and by Ludensky. According to Jessen the problem of bio(lm-bound bacteria on processing equipment can be reduced by identi(cation of critical locations and the usage of proper cleaners and disinfectants. The resistance of microorganisms to disinfectants is a growing hygiene concern in many domestic, institutional and industrial environments. The third group of papers therefore focuses on physiological aspects of disinfection and resistance. Denyer illustrates the scienti(c insights in the mechanisms of action of microorganisms. He stresses the need to consider disinfectant action in terms of both the processes mediating cell death and the mechanisms of interaction dominant under sub-lethal concentrations. The paper of Ludensky reports about testing biocidal e)cacy of current biocides on model bio(lm under de(ned laboratory conditions, while Chapman and Cloete both focus on the mechanisms of resistance, cross-resistance and coresistance to antimicrobial compounds of microorganisms. The implications of bacterial disinfectant resistance in the food industry are discussed by Langsrud. According to Langsrud, disinfectant resistance can in most cases be prevented by e9ective cleaning and disinfection procedures. The last group of papers is dedicated to some hygiene in several daily life situations. Borgmann–Strahsen looks into the topic of the assessment of biocides in swimming pool water. Beumer presents research data of hygiene practices in the domestic setting. The process of achieving hygiene for the sake of public health is complex and includes a number of di9erent perspectives. The collection of papers in this issue shows that progress is made in achieving appropriate hygiene without endangering sustainability and human safety. But it also reveals that there is still much work to be done.

0964-8305/03/$ - see front matter ? 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0964-8305(03)00036-2

Eugene Bessems Paul M.J. Terpstra Department of Agrotechnology & Nutrition; Section Consumer Technology & Product Use; Wageningen University; P.O. Box 8060 Wageningen 6700 DA; Netherlands E-mail address: [email protected]