Mycometer® surface Bacteria

For Quantification of Bacteria on Surfaces

Test Assays

The tests assays are packed in a box of 20 samples. A box contains all accessories for sampling and analysing 20 samples.

20 Sampling units
20 Substrates
40 Developers
10 Fluorescent standards
4 Filtration units
40 Pipette tips (100µl)

Product Information

Mycometer® surface Bacteria

Onsite bacterial contamination assessment. Onsite results in less than an hour! Verified Technology (USEPA 2011)

High data reproducibility

The Mycometer® surface Bacteria is a rapid method for measuring the level of bacteria on surfaces whether they are introduced from flooding or whether they are present due to structural water damage or a generally high moisture content. The method was developed specifically as a tool to investigate surfaces that have been affected by Category 1, 2 & 3 water sources. Mycometer® surface Bacteria fills the gap between the slow classical cultivation methods and the very rapid but non-specific and inaccurate methods based on ATP technology. A high reproducibility and robustness has provided a platform for the development of Interpretation Criteria which is a unique feature for the Bactiquant-surface. The Mycometer® surface Bacteria is the only rapid surface technology specifically for bacteria that has been verified by US-EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Bacteria can sometimes inhibit mould growth and vice versa. In situations where liquid water is visibly present bacteria often dominates completely inhibiting mould growth. Where conditions are moist, but without liquid water, mould usually dominates and can inhibit bacterial growth.

Sampling

Sampling kit for Mycometer® surface Bacteria Sterile swab Wetting solution Template (9cm2)

Collecting a sample

Break the seal on the sterile swab container by twisting the red cap.

The cotton swab is then wetted in the sterile saline contained in the tube with the black cap. (Do not use the green capped wetting solution from the Mycometer® surface Bacteria test!)

Apply the self-adhesive template to the surface to be sampled.

Firmly grip the wooden swab handle, keeping your fingers at least one inch from the cotton swab.

Thoroughly clean the surface as well as possible by rubbing the area inside the template.

The swab should be rotated in order to use as much of the cotton as possible. Keep a low angel between the swab and surface.

Return the swab into the container until analysis. Samples should be analysed within 24 hours of collection.

Other things to consider about sampling

When sampling for bacteria often there is no visual sign, such as discoloration, as is frequently seen when sampling for mould. It is, therefore, not always obvious where to sample. In our experience Bacteria are often scattered unevenly on a surface. It is recommended to take a minimum of three samples from the surface in order to have a high probability of discovering a bacterial contamination.

Applications

The Mycometer® surface Bacteria method has been developed for rapid assessment of bacterial contamination after flooding, sewage backflow or spills. Mycometer® surface Bacteria can give a rapid answer to the questions, “Is the surface contaminated or just dirty? Is a surface successfully cleaned?” Though this has been the main use of the method, consultants and contractors have found that the method is also very useful when investigating building with water damage or moisture problems in general. Many times consultants are called in to look for mould and may overlook the fact that bacteria can be the problem. Contrary to mould growth which often gives visual discolouration, bacterial growth in moist/wet areas of a building are often not visible. Taking a sample on a surface that visually doesn’t appear contaminated and then getting results that show high levels of bacteria has taken many a consultant by surprise.

Interpretation Criteria

Interpretation criteria that differentiates surfaces contaminated with high level of bacteria from the level found on dirty surfaces in non flooded normal buildings.

Defines clean as a criteria for Post Remediation Verification (PRV). Surfaces considered clean contain only background levels of bacteria as that seen in normal non problem buildings.


BQS-number >350& Contaminated surfaces

BQS number  26-350 Dirty surfaces

BQS number 0-25 Clean surfaces

Documentation and Publications

Documentation

The Mycometer® surface Bacteria methodology is based on a well-documented technology that has been vetted by the United States Environmental Agency, Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) program. In addition, technical papers have been published in peer reviewed journal and presented at scientific conferences (AIHce and AIOH).

Publications

Assessment of the Bacterial Contamination and Remediation Efficacy after Flooding Using Fluorometric Detection. M. Reeslev, JC Nielsen, L Rogers. Accepted for publication ASTM Journal, 2011.

Rapid Technology for Assessment of the Bacterial Contamination and Remediation Efficacy after Flooding using Fluorometric Detection AIOH, 2012.

FAQ

Can the Mycometer surface Bacteria method be used for general hygiene assessment?

No, not in its current form. The sensitivity of the Mycometer® surface Bacteria method has been targeted so as to fit criteria that meet the needs of the flooding and sewage backflow remediation industry. Here the clean criteria has been targeted to distinguish between visually clean and visually dirty surfaces in normal buildings. A visually clean surface in a non problem building is not necessarily as clean as would be needed in e.g. a hospital operation room.

Can the Mycometer surface Bacteria help in making the remediation process more efficient and economic?

Yes. Not having to wait for lab results allows for rapid demobilization of remediation barriers and containment systems,and enables the re-occupancy of an area that much faster. Additionally, the Mycometer® surface Bacteria method can be used to evaluate the efficacy of different methods for cleaning contaminated materials. A test cleaning assessment using the Mycometer® surface Bacteria method enables remediators and consultants to quickly, and empirically, identify materials that can and cannot be cleaned.

Can Mycometer surface Bacteria replace measurements of E. coli on a remediation site?

Traditionally, assessment after flooding events has been performed using cultivation of coliform and fecal indicator bacteria like E. coli. Assessments have focused on the risk of infection as the main health concern. This approach is inadequate due to the fact that E. coli and many pathogenic bacteria typically have a very short survival time in the environment. Even with no measurable E.coli, infectious bacteria with longer survival times can still be present. Further, large reservoirs of non infectious bacterial can remain undetected. Health effects of bacterial contamination are not solely a question of risk of infection from pathogenic bacteria. A high number of bacteria in general can cause other health effects such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergy, and inflammation due to the influence of bacterial cell wall agents. A high level of any type bacteria left on surfaces has the potential to affect human health and that is true even though they are dead. The Mycometer® surface Bacteria method gives a measure of the total level of bacteria on a surface.

Is the Mycometer surface Bacteria method more fair to the contractor?

If you define “fair” as confirming or verifying that the contractor has accomplished the task of returning materials to a like-new condition, then the Mycometer® surface Bacteria is extremely fair. However, it can be argued that the Mycometer® surface Bacteria is a rigorous, unambiguous test that may be more difficult for some less than thorough contractors to pass than culture plate testing or visual inspections.

Do the Mycometer surface Bacteria results correlate to hete rotrophic plate count (CFU)?

Under certain conditions, Yes. A dilution series of a known bacterial suspension under laboratory controlled conditions will give a very good correlation (see figure below). However, it is not the general rule. When measuring total bacteria in an environmental sample with a high diversity of bacteria, often as little as 1% of the bacteria present may be culturable. Many variables such as the percentage of culturable bacteria in the environment, the nutrient agar used, time and temperature of incubation, as well as other things will affect the outcome of the plate count. Whereas, Mycometer® surface Bacteria method is not subject to these variables and provides a very consistent result.

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