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Spores and Sporocides - The Ultimate Cleanroom Challenge

The Threat

The spores we worry about in our cleanrooms can be divided into two major groups:

Bacterial spores - these are bacteria transformed into a more resistant stage
Fungal spores - these are the fruiting bodies of moulds that function like seeds and are almost indestructible

Bacterial spores, endospores, can be formed when certain bacteria (Bacillus, Clostridium) protect themselves against harmful environmental conditions. These harmful conditions could be extreme heat, drought, the presence of chemicals and so on.

The vegetative micro-organism transforms into a dormant organism. Metabolism stops, a dehydrated cell at rest and a complex resistant envelope containing many proteins is formed for protection. When the environment returns to a more hospitable state, the bacterial spore can return to its vegetative state, capable of fermentation and multiplying again.

There are many different types of fungal spores which are mostly thick-walled propagules. Spores are formed in both sexual and asexual manner. The sexual spores, for example zygospores, ascospores and chlamydospores, are especially well known for their thick wall and extreme resistance.


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By Peter Koger, European Product Manager at the PMT Partikel-Messtechnik/A&LCO industries group

Peter Koger is the European Product Manager for the pan-European group of PMT and A&LCO, covering over 10 countries and operating out of 6 offices. The group focuses on cleanroom users in the pharmaceutical and electronics industries. Peter is responsible for the Veltek Associates Inc range of products.

He began working in the life sciences industry after studying bacteriology and immunology and has been in this sector for over 25 years. Peter spent 12 years in the lab and the second half of his career as International Product/Sales Manager for various companies active in life sciences.

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Peter Koger
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