STERILIZATION WITH METHYL BROMIDE VAPOR.
ARMY BIOLOGICAL LABS FREDERICK MD
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Methyl bromide vapor was shown to be bactericidal for the spores of Bacillus subtilis, and the vegetative cells of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The disinfection rate of B. subtilis spores has been determined for five different temperatures. Bacteria dried on cloth patches are sterilized more rapidly by methyl bromide vapor in atmospheres of low relative humidity than in atmospheres of higher relative humidity. Organisms in aqueous suspension can be sterilized by the admission of methyl bromide vapor to the atmosphere above the suspension in spite of the low solubility of methyl bromide in water. Such sterilization is not greatly influenced by changes in pH of the aqueous suspension, nor by the presence of organic matter of salt dissolved in the water. Methyl bromide has only about one-tenth the activity of ethylene oxide as a gaseous disinfectant, but since it is nonflammable it can be used in large-scale operations where safety precautions prohibit the use of ethylene oxide. It is believed that the mechanism is one of direct alkylation of protein material within the bacterial cell by methyl bromide. Author
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