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Table 2 Summary of microbial decontamination methods, effectiveness, and applications

From: Recent trends of microbial decontamination for occupational, industrial and domestic applications

Decontamination category Decontamination method Microbial effectiveness Application References
Cleaning Cleaning removes dust, dirt, and organic matter from surfaces but does not remove any microorganisms None The importance of cleaning is removing any materials that can interfere with the sanitizer's effectiveness Rutala and Weber (2014)
Sanitizing Applying diluted detergent followed by rinsing with clean water and drying Reducing the microbial populations to a sanitary level Washing hands, clothes, tools, and equipment Veerabadran and Parkinson (2010)
Disinfection Physically by solar Energy: direct surface contact with solar radiation at 40 °C Vegetative bacteria, including V. cholerae and E.coli Water and solid surfaces Berney et al. (2006), McGuigan et al. (1998)
Disinfection Physically by dry heat: using a forced convection oven at a temperature of 160 °C for 2 h or 170 °C for 1 h Vegetative bacteria, including pathogens Heat-resistant inanimate objects such as glass and metal Joslyn (2001)
Disinfection Physically by moist Heat: By immersing the objective in hot water of temperatures ranging from 80 to 100 °C for 60–600 s Vegetative bacteria, including pathogens Inanimate objects. However, repeated heat exposure may reduce some objects' function over time; especially those are made of plastic components Collins et al. (2019), McDonnell (2017)
Disinfection Physically by moist heat by pasteurization:
(HoP) at (62.8–68.3 °C) for 30 min
(HTST) at (71.7 °C) for 15 s
(HHST) at (88.3–100 °C) for (15–0.01 s)
(UHT) at (135–150 °C) for (2–15 s)
In-container sterilization at 116 °C for 20 min
Vegetative bacteria, including pathogens Milk, egg nog, and frozen, cream, dessert mixes, and cans Al-Attabi et al. (2009), ChemViews (2012), Ciochetti and Metcalf (1984), Deeth and Datta (2011), Wright (2019)
Disinfection Physically by infrared irradiation
FIR for surface decontaminations
NIR for bulk decontamination
Vegetative bacteria and fungi Food products such as cereals, nuts, shell eggs, and fruits Alkaya et al. (2016), Bingol et al. (2011), Hamanaka et al. (2011), Wang et al. (2014)
Disinfection Physically by microwave and radiofrequency radiation Vegetative bacteria and fungi Food materials Dev et al. (2012), Vijay et al. (2021)
Disinfection Physically by ultraviolet type-B radiation pathogenic bacteria Drinking water Mbonimpa et al. (2012)
Disinfection Chemically using alcohols: ethanol at a concentration of (mostly 70%) for 30 s Viruses, fungi, and vegetative bacteria, including pathogens Inanimate objects Fendler et al. (2002)
Disinfection Chemically using chlorine-containing disinfectants Viruses, fungi, and vegetative bacteria, including pathogens Chlorine is widely used for water and wastewater disinfection
Hypochlorite, principally sodium hypochlorite, is used for surface disinfection in households
Emmanuel et al. (2004), WHO (2006a)
Disinfection Chemically using hydrogen peroxide
7% of liquid H2O2 for 15 min inactivated 6 LR of Bacillus spores
Fogging hydrogen peroxide can be applied to disinfect air when applied for 16–20 min in a 5–15% concentration
Viruses, yeast, fungi, and vegetative bacteria, including pathogens Hard surfaces and soft surfaces, textiles, and ambient air. However, it is not compatible with some materials such as nylon, neoprene, some sorts of aluminum, and epoxides Majcher et al. (2008), Masotti et al. (2019), Rutala and Weber (2014, 2016)
Disinfection Chemically using chlorine dioxide at low concentrations (2% chlorine nitrogen gas mixture), room temperature (between15 and 40 oC), at atmospheric pressure, and high relative humidity to be effective (minimum 65%) Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, and vegetative bacteria, including pathogens. Endospores at prolonged exposure Inanimate objects
Decontamination of large buildings following the epidemic outbreaks and when microorganisms such as mold were prevalent
Canter (2005), Canter et al. (2005), Davies et al. (2011)
Disinfection Chemically using peracetic acid at low concentrations (1% of liquid PAA) and high relative humidity (minimum 60%). Surfaces should be dirtless Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, and vegetative bacteria, including pathogens. Endospores at prolonged exposure Porous and impermeable surfaces Hayrapetyan et al. (2020), Hilgren et al. (2007), Majcher et al. (2008), Portner and Hoffman (1968), Wood et al. (2013)
Disinfection Chemically using Ozone for 3 h, and during the process, the premise should be closed and free of people, and after the process, people can re-enter the room after 20 min Effective against vegetative bacterial cells, but it is less effective against yeasts, molds, and bacterial endospores Porous and impermeable surfaces
Better than a stream at killing bacteria without deteriorating objects susceptible to heat
Coccinella; Masotti et al. (2019), Towle et al. (2018), Tuttnauer (2017)
Sterilization Physically by moist heat by autoclaving at high pressure (15 psi) and (≈121 °C). Autoclaving includes gravity and pre-vacuum methods Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, vegetative bacteria, and endospores Gravity autoclaving for non-porous objects
Pre-vacuum autoclaving for porous objects
Sandle (2013b), Trapotsis (2020), Winter et al. (2017)
Sterilization Physically by moist heat by Steam-in-Place (SIP) at 121 °C for at least 30. Sterilization power can be maximized by the addition of a hydrogen peroxide solution Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, vegetative bacteria, and endospores Large pieces of equipment that cannot be loaded into an autoclave or those located in a fixed place can ( e.g., vessels, valves, process, and production lines) Cole (2006), McClure (1988), SANIVAP
Sterilization Physically by dry heat by direct flame or incineration at a very high temperature (1500 °C) in a furnace oven Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, vegetative bacteria, and endospores Direct flame for needles and inoculating loops
Incineration for hazardous wastes and biological samples
Lee and Huffman (1996), Wang et al. (2020)
Sterilization Physically using E-beam and Gamma radiation Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, vegetative bacteria, and endospores Ideal for sterilizing disposable items. However, its role in the sterilization of reusable tools are limited Wilson and Nayak (2019)
Sterilization Physically using ultraviolet radiation type C (UVC) at 200–365 nm viruses are more susceptible to be inactivated by UVC rather than bacteria that tolerate UVC due to the presence of the cell wall Air and food products such as juices Koutchma et al. (2016), Rodriguez-Gonzalez et al. (2015), Wang et al. (2009), Zhao et al. (2013)
Sterilization Physically using ultrasonic waves at 300–600 W under the sound intensity of 28 kHz for 10–30 min Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, vegetative bacteria, and endospores Porous and impermeable surfaces Chemat et al. (2011), Lin et al. (2019), Piyasena et al. (2003), Sango et al. (2014), Sarkinas et al. (2018)
Sterilization Chemically using ethylene oxide (EtO); applied as a cold gas Viruses, yeast, vegetative bacteria, and endospores, but less effective against fungi Electronic surgical equipment and other medical stuff that cannot be sterilized by autoclave Anna et al. (2018), Moisan et al. (2013), Sureshkumar et al. (2010)
Sterilization Using hybrid physical–chemical cold plasma using argon, oxygen, or hydrogen peroxide gases for 3–15 min Viruses, yeast, fungi, molds, vegetative bacteria, and endospores Most commonly used for sterilization of food packaging material Block (2001), Heckert et al. (1997), Hertwig et al. (2015), Kirchner et al. (2013), Zhao et al. (2020)