Recovery of Biological Indicator Organisms after Sublethal Sterilization Treatment

ROSS A. Caputo, Kimberly J. Rohn and Carmine C. Mascoli


An important factor affecting the recovery of biological indicators (BI’s) is the time elapsed between exposure to a sterilant and growth testing. The length of time and the temperature at which the BI’s are stored after sterilization were found to significantly affect growth. BI’s stored at 20–25 °C for 48 hr prior to testing showed a 90% reduction in growth when compared to those that had been refrigerated at 2–8 °Cfor the same time period. This was consistent for B. subtilis and B. stcarothermophilus spores and independent of the type of sterilization process studied.

  • Received April 3, 1980.
  • Accepted June 6, 1980.

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