Controlling Microbial Growth

Vocabulary

antisepsis

practice of using substances to control the growth of microbes on living skin

autoclave

machine that uses steam under very high pressure to sterilize surfaces and fluids

bactericide

substance that kills bacteria

bacteriostatic

causing microbial replication to fail inhibiting the growth of bacteria

decontamination

removal of harmful physical, chemical, or biological agents from an object, surface or fluid

desiccation

removal of water from a material

disinfection

destruction of 99.99% to 99.999% of all pathogenic microbes and other microorganisms, but not necessarily their spores and endospores, from a surface, object, or liquid

endospore

toughened, condensed form of cell that can withstand harsh environmental conditions and is formed completely within the bacterial cell and is released when the cell dies

filtration

passing liquid through a solid porous device that allows some but not all material to pass through

fungicide

substance that kills fungi

fungistatic

inhibiting the growth of fungi

germicide

substance that kills microbes

lyophilization

desiccation of material while frozen

microbiostatic

inhibiting the growth of a microbe but not killing it

pasteurization

process of heating liquids in the absence of oxygen to kill microbes that often make people sick or spoil liquids such as milk

phenol coefficient

agent's ability to kill microbes as compared to phenol

sanitization

type of disinfection that reduces levels of microbial pathogens (often especially in food and water) to amounts deemed safe by public health agencies

sterilization

statistically complete (99.9999%) destruction of all microbes, their spores, and endospores from a surface, object or fluid.

surfactant

chemical agent that reduces surface tension

thermal death point

temperature at which all target microbes in a culture are killed in a given time frame

thermal death time

time required to completely kill a specific target microbe in a specific culture at a specific temperature