New technical standard permits growth of standardised biofilm


ASTM International to publish benchmark to evaluate the efficacy of antimicrobial disinfectants parameters for growing a bacterial biofilm

US-based ASTM International, a global standards organisation, has announced a new international standard that will allow users to grow a standardised bacterial biofilm, which can be used in the efficacy evaluation of antimicrobial disinfectants.

The new standard (soon to be published as E3161) was developed by the ASTM International committee on pesticides, antimicrobials and alternative control agents.

According to committee members, bacteria may grow and persist as free-floating cells in liquids or attached to surfaces as biofilms.

In the latter case, the biofilm provides embedded bacteria with protection from dehydration and other environmental stresses and may interfere with the action of chemical disinfectants. 

Bacteria in biofilms have the capacity to survive environmental stress and may serve as a reservoir of human pathogenic bacteria.

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This standard specifies the parameters for growing a Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus biofilm that can be used to evaluate the efficacy of antimicrobial disinfectants.