Alternative water treatment techniques are needed to overcome the limitations of chemical disinfectants. Stemming from recent findings which point to high levels of shear stress induced by flow as the cause of microbial removal in water, we conducted systematic experiments on bacterial solutions in well-controlled hydrodynamic conditions to evaluate the effect of different levels of shear stress on the viability of Escherichia coli. We investigated a wide range of shear stresses (57–4240 Pa) using viscous substrates prepared by mixing a bacterial solution with thickeners (2-hydroxyethyl cellulose and/or guar gum). Substrate samples were tested for up to 60 min in a laminar shear flow at a constant temperature using a rotational rheometer equipped with a cone-plate measuring system so that the whole sampling volume was exposed to the same shear stress. Results show that, contrary to previous studies, high shear stresses (i.e., of order 103 Pa) do not induce inactivation or lysis of E. coli, even for prolonged exposure times. Stemming from our results and a thorough discussion of the literature on E. coli mechanical lysis and modeling cell dynamics, we infer that E. coli can resist high shear forces because of stress relaxation in a wide range of hydrodynamic conditions.

On Escherichia coli Resistance to Fluid Shear Stress and Its Significance for Water Disinfection / Vettori, Davide; Manes, Costantino; Dalmazzo, Davide; Ridolfi, Luca. - In: WATER. - ISSN 2073-4441. - 14:2637(2022). [10.3390/w14172637]

On Escherichia coli Resistance to Fluid Shear Stress and Its Significance for Water Disinfection

Davide Vettori;Costantino Manes;Davide Dalmazzo;Luca Ridolfi
2022

Abstract

Alternative water treatment techniques are needed to overcome the limitations of chemical disinfectants. Stemming from recent findings which point to high levels of shear stress induced by flow as the cause of microbial removal in water, we conducted systematic experiments on bacterial solutions in well-controlled hydrodynamic conditions to evaluate the effect of different levels of shear stress on the viability of Escherichia coli. We investigated a wide range of shear stresses (57–4240 Pa) using viscous substrates prepared by mixing a bacterial solution with thickeners (2-hydroxyethyl cellulose and/or guar gum). Substrate samples were tested for up to 60 min in a laminar shear flow at a constant temperature using a rotational rheometer equipped with a cone-plate measuring system so that the whole sampling volume was exposed to the same shear stress. Results show that, contrary to previous studies, high shear stresses (i.e., of order 103 Pa) do not induce inactivation or lysis of E. coli, even for prolonged exposure times. Stemming from our results and a thorough discussion of the literature on E. coli mechanical lysis and modeling cell dynamics, we infer that E. coli can resist high shear forces because of stress relaxation in a wide range of hydrodynamic conditions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11583/2971295