Studies on the inactivation of medically important Candida species on agar surfaces using pulsed light.
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Development of a pulsed-light (PL) approach to inanimate surface decontamination is timely, as the incidence of yeast-related infections in healthcare remains unacceptably high. Critical electrical and biological factors governing the efficacy of PL for the in vitro inactivation of medically important yeast were established in this study. Predetermined cell numbers of yeast were inoculated separately on agar plates and were flashed with 90 pulses of broad-spectrum light under varying operating conditions, and their inactivation was measured. Significant differences in inactivation among different yeasts occurred depending on the intensity of the applied lamp discharge energy and the amount of pulsing applied. Levels of yeast sensitivity also varied depending on the distance between the light source and the treatment surface used, and the population size, type and age of cultures treated. Yeast strains were shown to be significantly more resistant to PL irradiation compared with similarly treated bacterial control cultures. A clear relationship was observed between the concentration of eluted proteins from treated yeast and the severity of PL conditions, with scanning electron micrographs showing irreversible cellular damage. Therefore, the findings from this study will enable further development and optimization of PL as a method of decontaminating surfaces in a healthcare setting.
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