EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF THE SURVIVAL OF DIPHTHERIA BACILLI IN AN AEROSOL
ARMY BIOLOGICAL LABS FREDERICK MD
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The study of bacterial aerosols is of general interest, since microorganisms sprayed in the air are a model of the main link in the aerial mechanism of transmission of infection. The main test, characterizing the state of microflora in the air, is the survival of microorganisms. A formula was developed for the calculation of the survival rate in polydispersed aerosols, excluding the influence of sedimentation of particles on the end result the limits of its application were determined. A considerable sensitivity of the diphtheria bacillus to changes of temperature was revealed. At a temperature below zero the causative agent dies off very slowly, but at a temperature of 35 deg C its survival rate is reduced sharply at a temperature of 18 deg C the survival rate of the diphtheria bacillus occupies an intermediate position. By inhibiting evaporation, saliva and broth protect the microorganisms from desiccation for a certain time. This explains the high survival rate of the diphtheria causative agent in the first 45 minutes of existence of an aerosol.