Alternative methods for sampling from surfaces

Satu Salo, Erna Storgårds, Gun Wirtanen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


Detection of attached microorganisms and biofilms on surfaces is essential in assessing process hygiene. Alternative methods to assess surface hygiene were studied. As a sampling method, ultrasonication was found to be more effective than swabbing. Swabbing can, however, be improved using wetting agents. The wetting agent breaks the biofilm and reveals the bacteria in it without affecting the survival rate of the bacteria. These agents can be applied either by spraying directly onto the surface or by moistening the swabs before sampling. The viability of surface-bound microorganisms and/or the quantity of biofilm was estimated by ATP bioluminescence, by protein residue detection, by impedimetry and by epifluorescence microscopy. The ATP method and detection of protein are easily applicable for industrial use, whereas impedimetry and epifluorescence microscopy are indispensable research tools. These techniques offer many benefits compared to conventional methods, although some limitations were also noticed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication30th R3-Nordic Contamination Control Symposium
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
ISBN (Print)951-38-5268-7
Publication statusPublished - 1999
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event30th R3-Nordic Contamination Control Symposium
- Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 30 May 19992 Jun 1999

Publication series

SeriesVTT Symposium


Conference30th R3-Nordic Contamination Control Symposium

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