Journal of AOAC International

AOAC method 966.04: preliminary evaluation of cooked meat medium with manganese sulfate for the cultivation of Clostridium sporogenes: precollaborative study.

PMID 17580636


AOAC Method 966.04, the Sporicidal Activity of Disinfectants Test, is a carrier-based test that provides a qualitative measure of product efficacy against spores of Bacillus subtilis and Clostridium sporogenes. For regulatory purposes, Method 966.04 is accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the generation of product performance data for sporicides and sterilants. In this study, we report on findings associated with proposed improvements (modifications) to the Clostridium component of the method. Egg meat medium (EMM), the culture medium for C. sporogenes currently specified in the method, is no longer commercially available and finding a suitable replacement is critical. In addition, the use of a nonstandardized extract of raw soil as an amendment to EMM, as stipulated in the current method, may result in a highly variable spore suspension. The primary focus of this study was to find replacements for EMM and soil extract. A carrier count procedure, the establishment of target carrier counts (spores/carrier), and a neutralization confirmation procedure were also evaluated. The study was limited to liquid products tested against Clostridium on a hard surface carrier (porcelain penicylinder). Spore suspensions of C. sporogenes were generated using: (1) EMM with soil extract (EMM/SE), (2) cooked meat medium with soil extract (CMM/SE), and (3) cooked meat medium with 5 microg/mL manganese sulfate (CMM/MnSO4). The titer of the spore suspension, carrier counts, resistance to hydrochloric acid (HCI), and efficacy against 3 liquid sporicidal agents were used to evaluate the potential of CMM and MnSO4 as replacements. The study was performed by the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Microbiology Laboratory, Fort Meade, MD. Use of CMM/SE and CMM/MnSO4 resulted in comparable results for titer of spore suspensions (approximately 10(8) spores/mL) and carrier counts (approximately 3 x 10(6) spores/carrier). The carrier counts for the EMM/SE were approximately 1 log lower than CMM-based treatments; however, no attempt was made to dilute the CMM spore suspensions prior to carrier inoculation to reduce the carrier counts for CMM. Resistance of spores to 2.5 M HCI was acceptable across the 3 media types. Treatments for comparative efficacy testing were designed to provide a range of sporicidal activity, i.e., high and low efficacy treatments. Sodium hypochlorite (bleach), hydrogen peroxide/peracetic acid, and glutaraldehyde were used as test chemicals. The number of carriers resulting in growth (positive) for the low treatments for all 3 chemicals ranged from 9 to 59 out of 60 across the 3 media types--EMM exhibited fewer positives overall. The high efficacy treatments for sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide/peracetic acid yielded a range of 0 to 2 positives out of 60 across the 3 media. However, the high glutaraldehyde treatment generated 3, 20, and 20 positives out of 60 for the EMM/SE, CMM/SE, and CMM/MnSO4, respectively. The lower number of positive carriers for EMM/SE may be due to the reduced carrier counts. CMM, either with SE or MnSO4, appears to be a suitable replacement for EMM/SE. On the basis of the results of this study, the Study Director recommends that CMM/MnSO4 and the spore enumeration target carrier count and neutralization procedures be considered for collaborative study to officially modify the Clostridium x porcelain component of Method 966.04.