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Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology

Not All UV Light Effective in Treating Drinking Water

Researchers from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada have determined that some types of ultra violet light are not effective in killing harmful bacteria in drinking water. Their results appear in the July 2002 issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

In the study the researchers tested the ability of Escherichia coli to repair DNA damage caused by varying levels of UV radiation from low and medium pressure lamps. They found that while E.coli was able to fully repair damage done to its DNA after being subjected to low-pressure UV rays, they remain unclear as to the effects of medium-pressure rays.

"The results of this study show that polychromatic medium-pressure UV radiation may offer an advantage over monochromatic low-pressure UV radiation in lower-dose water treatment applications," claim the researchers. "It is recommended that further studies be carried out with medium-pressure UV to determine which wavelengths cause additional damage and where the damage is induced."

(J. L. Zimmer and R. M. Slawson. 2002. Potential repair of Escherichia coli DNA following exposure to UV radiation from both medium- and low-pressure UV sources used in drinking water treatment. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 68: 3293-3299.)

Bacteria Could Be New Meningococcal Vaccine

A harmless bacteria can elicit an immune response that protects against a common cause of bacterial meningitis and could serve as a potential vaccine against the disease, say researchers from the United Kingdom. Their findings appear in the July 2002 issue of the journal Infection and Immunity.

Neisseria lactamica is a bacterium that does not cause human disease, but closely resembles Neisseria meningitidis, one of the causes of bacteria meningitis. Previous studies have suggested that the development of natural immunity to menigococca
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Contact: Jim Sliwa
jsliwa@asmusa.org
202-942-9297
American Society for Microbiology
12-Jul-2002


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