Assessment of the potential for microbial contamination of antarctic terrestrial habitats resulting from human activities (previously ASAC 870)Entry ID: ASAC_1093
Abstract: This project was a continuation of ASAC project 870 (ASAC_870).
The aim of the project is to assess the possible routes for the carriage of microorganisms by humans to Antarctic soil habitats. Such pathways include footwear, vehicle treads and washings of root vegetables. These have been examined and measures have already been implemented to minimise further risk from these sources. A further ... aim was to determine the liklihood of foreign microorganisms successfully competing with indigenous terrestrial antarctic microorganisms; this has proved more difficult to ascertain under simulated antarctic conditions. Work is continuing on this aspect.
The danger posed by microbial contaminants on expeditioners' boots to antarctic wildlife habitats has been assessed, with the finding that bacterial spores would survive current walk-through disinfection procedures using 2% Virkon or 3%-chlorine bleach, although coliforms would not. The problem of spore-survival in sanitizing solutions is exacerbated by residual clay in boot treads. It is recommended that boots be scrubbed clean of residual soil or clay before entering antarctic waters, and again as necessary between geographically isolated areas within Antarctica. Soaking for four hours in 2.0% Virkon or for 11 minutes in 3% chlorine bleach is needed for a 3-log reduction in Bacillus spore numbers.
The following Decimal Reduction Times (DRTs) were obtained:
B. subtilis, 80 and 84 minutes in 2% Virkon , 3.6 min in 3%-chlorine bleach.
B. polymyxa, 32 minutes in 2% Virkon , 3.0 min in 3%-chlorine bleach.
Vegetative cells of E. coli died very rapidly in both Virkon and 3%-chlorine bleach, with DRTs being less than 18 seconds, the limit of detection using the described method.
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Start Date: 1998-09-30Stop Date: 1999-03-31
ISO Topic Category
Quality Values provided in temporal and spatial coverage are approximate only.
Access Constraints The data are outlined in a paper available for download from the url given below. However, as the paper has not yet been published, the dataset is restricted to internal use only.
Use Constraints This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License
The investigator must be acknowledged when using this data.
Data Set Progress
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Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: +61 3 6226 2636
Fax: +61 3 6226 2642
Email: martin.line at utas.edu.au
SCHOOL OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE GPO BOX 252-54 University of Tasmania
Province or State: Tasmania
Postal Code: 7001
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2000-08-08
Last DIF Revision Date: 2008-04-10