Introduction to Controlling Microbial Growth The control of microbial growth may involve sterilization, disinfection, antisepsis, sanitization, or degerming. Sterilization is the destruction of all forms of microbial life, with particular attention to bacterial spores. Disinfection and antisepsis both refer to destruction of microbial pathogens, although some organisms, such as bacterial spores, may remain alive. Disinfection refers to the destruction of pathogenic organisms on an inanimate (lifeless) object, such as a table-top, while antisepsis refers to that destruction on a living object, such as the skin surface. Sanitization refers to the reduction in the number of pathogens to a level deemed safe by public health guidelines. Degerming is the physical removal of microorganisms by using such things as soaps or detergents.
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