Q: Which of the following organisms is used for biological testing?
Spores describe the dormant and resistant of a microorganism. During this stage, the microorganism can endure extreme conditions. Because spores are so resistant, they are highly transmissible.
In biological monitoring, highly resistant spores are passed through the sterilizer and cultured to determine their inactivity. Among all the microorganisms listed in the answer choices, spores are the most resistant. Therefore, their inactivity can also indicate the inactivity of other microorganisms.
How resistant are spores? Very! They adapt to the environment. They dry out and wrinkle (as seen in picture) for survival. Unlike raisins, which cannot re-form into grapes, spores can take on water and almost immediately restore themselves to their original shape. Those states are reversible and show their ability to adapt and survive.
Answer: A. Spores
Let’s dive a little deeper (like we always do) because we all need to pass the dental hygiene boards (NBDHE, NDHCE)!
Learn more for the dental hygiene boards
First of all, which spore is used? Usually, that would be the geobaccilus or bacillus species. Here are some more facts to know about biological monitoring, directly from StudentRDH National Dental Hygiene Boards Prep, in the chapter of infection control:
o The most accepted method for monitoring the sterilization process.
o Mechanical and chemical monitoring can verify the proper functioning of the sterilizers, but cannot prove the inactivity of microorganisms.
o Minimal weekly monitoring is advised.
o Vary placements of spore test in sterilizer chamber to confirm that sterilization occurs in all areas.
o Monitoring of sterilizers includes a combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological testing.
Infection control is important to protect ourselves (the dental professional) but also the patient. Without proper infection control, we would all be in danger or cross contamination (can you imagine)! If you have any questions about the dental hygiene boards (NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, WREB), email me anytime at ClaireJ@StudentRDH.com.
If you want to read a little more about bacterial endospore, see this article published on Cornell University (thus, we can trust it). It is called Bacterial endospore, find it here: https://micro.cornell.edu/research/epulopiscium/bacterial-endospores
Have another fantastic day!
Related blog in Infection Control: Package contamination
(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)